Sudan Rocked by Protests Amid Warnings of a Coup
Demonstrators burned tires and chanted slogans in the capital, Khartoum, and there was a “significant disruption” to the internet.,
NAIROBI, Kenya — Sudanese protesters took to the streets of the capital early on Monday, injecting another note of instability in the northeast African nation’s fragile transition to democracy.
The demonstrations come about one month after the authorities said they had thwarted a coup attempt by loyalists of the deposed dictator Omar Hassan al-Bashir.
The possibility of a successful coup has haunted the country’s transitional government since 2019, when Mr. al-Bashir was overthrown, and Sudan has been rocked by recent protests.
The demonstrators are split generally along two lines: those who helped topple Mr. al-Bashir after widespread mass protests, and those who back a military government.
Relations between the leaders of the transitional government, which is made up of civilian and military officials, have been strained. In recent days, pro-military protesters have demanded the dissolution of the transitional cabinet, a step many pro-democracy groups have denounced as setting the stage for a coup.
In November, the army chief of staff had been expected to hand over leadership of a key transitional body to Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, giving him a largely ceremonial post, but one that nonetheless would signify full civilian control of Sudan for the first time in decades.
The Sudanese Professionals Association, the main pro-democratic political group, urged people to take to the streets to resist what they called a “military coup.”
“The revolution is a revolution of the people,” the group — which is made up of doctors, engineers and lawyers organizations — said in a Facebook post. “Power and wealth belongs to the people. No to a military coup.”
As the protests intensified on Monday, NetBlocks, an internet monitoring organization, said there had been a “significant disruption” to internet services affecting cellphone and some fixed lines in the country. That disruption, it said, “is likely to limit the free flow of information online and news coverage of incidents on the ground.”
Television stations showed footage of protesters burning tires in the streets of Khartoum, the capital, with plumes of smoke filling the skies.
“The people are stronger,” pro-democracy demonstrators chanted as some clapped and the procession of demonstrators grew larger.