Sudan Government Accuses Opposition of Staging Protests

Article Summary
Sudan faces another Friday of protests, this week dubbed the “Friday of Aliens." Ahmad Al-Nour reports that protesters have called for the toppling of Omar al-Bashir’s regime and that the opposition alliance has signed documents outlining how the country should be run in the transitional phase after the current government falls.

Yesterday, Sudanese authorities accused the Popular Congress Party (PCP) and the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) — both parties of the Sudanese opposition — of orchestrating the anti-austerity protests. Protesters have called for the toppling of Omar al-Bashir’s regime, and some activists are preparing for another Friday of protests against the regime in Khartoum. They have dubbed this day “the Friday of Aliens,” after Bashir described protesters as “aliens and bubbles.”

An electronic war was launched between the government’s supporters and its youth opponents when the ruling National Congress Party’s supporters set up an “electronic deterrence battalion” over the Internet and social-media networks. It was created to respond to any of the opposition’s challenges, online or in the street. This war began last week after activists called for a “the Friday of licking elbows.” This came in response to one Sudanese official who said that it would be easier for the opposition to lick their elbows than topple their regime.

Yesterday, Ibrahim Mahmoud, the Sudanese Minister of the Interior, accused the PCP — which is led by Hassan al-Turabi — and the SCP of being behind the two-week-long demonstrations in the country. He went on to threaten the party members involved in the protests.

Yesterday, the opposition alliance officially signed a democratic-alternative program, as well as a constitutional declaration. The two documents outline how the country should be run in the transitional phase after the current government falls. The declaration includes the formation of a sovereignty council, a cabinet and a legislative council. The democratic-alternative program provides the framework of a three-year transitional phase.

On the other hand, in a meeting presided by Bashir, the leadership of the ruling party decided to decrease the number of seats in the cabinet to 26 by merging five ministries. Twelve other ministers were also dismissed in accordance with the austerity plan.

Yesterday, Sudanese authorities released Shayma Adel, an Egyptian editorialist from Al-Watan newspaper. She was arrested with Sudanese journalist Mawa al-Tijani on Tuesday in an internet café in eastern Khartoum while she was covering the student protests. Shayma is the second Egyptian journalist to be detained while covering the protests in Sudan. The authorities had previously arrested journalist Salma al-Wardani, but she was eventually freed and asked to leave the country.

Found in: sudan protests, sudan, opposition, khartoum

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