Thousands march in Khartoum to support Sudan's transition

Demonstrations in capital as tension rises between military and politicians after failed coup

Tens of thousands have taken to the streets of Khartoum in a show of support for Sudan’s bumpy transition to democratic rule.

The rally on Thursday came amid rising tension between the powerful military and politicians backed by a pro-democracy alliance.

Participants were joined by many who arrived by cars, buses and trains from provincial regions. They created scenes reminiscent of the popular uprising in late 2018 and early 2019 that forced the military to step in and remove dictator Omar Al Bashir.

They chanted "revolution" and “freedom, peace and justice" – the main slogan of what was referred to as the December Revolution. They also carried banners in support of the transition. “Going back is impossible,” read one banner.

Sudan’s military and pro-democracy politicians have jointly formed a transitional administration that has ruled since the overthrow of former leader Omar Al Bashir in 2019, but the country’s longstanding economic woes persisted, with power cuts, medicine shortages, a devalued currency and inflation at nearly 400 per cent.

However, relations between the two sides have soured over accusations that each was encroaching on the other’s authority and over the best way to handle the nation’s many problems.

Their differences became public after a failed coup attempt on September 21, with both sides engaging in a bitter war of words. There have since been calls for unity from either side and pledges by the military of its commitment to democratic rule.

There were no signs of additional security precautions in Khartoum at Thursday's rally, including in the area outside the armed forces’ headquarters in the heart of the city. The local Khartoum government said bridges across the Blue and White Niles would remain open to all traffic.

Updated: September 30th 2021, 5:08 PM
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