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Sudan Protests: Two-day strikes begin following Monday’s deadly police violence

Two days of civil disobedience and strikes began in politically-unstable Sudan on Tuesday. 

The strikes come a day after security forces shot seven peaceful protesters and dozens more sustained gunshot wounds during street rallies against military rule.

Mass protests in Sudan began on 25 October following a coup that upended the country’s democratic transition. At least 71 protestors have been killed and more than 2,000 wounded since that day. 

The civil disobedience and strikes were called for by the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC), an alliance of political parties that was the political patron and sponsor of the civilian-led government sacked by army chief and coup leader Gen Abdel Fattah Al Burhan.

“Let the period of civil disobedience be a time for regrouping and uniting our revolutionary forces and preparing them for the decisive battle to bring down the regime,” the FFC said on Monday night.

Trade and professional unions quickly responded to the FFC by declaring their intention to heed the call for strikes.

Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry, which is in charge of the police, justified Monday’s violence by claiming that the protestors had adopted “semi-military tactics.”

It claimed that police only used water cannons and tear gas during the rallies but acknowledged that seven protesters had been killed in Khartoum.

The ministry said 50 policemen and 22 “citizens” were wounded while 77 protesters were detained.

World leaders condemned Monday’s violence. 

In a tweet, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said that Washington was “concerned by reports of escalating violence.”

He added that Assistant Secretary of State Molly Phee and new special envoy David Satterfield are headed to Khartoum this week and “will reiterate our call for security forces to end violence and respect freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.”

Nine UN Security Council members urged all parties in Sudan to “exercise the utmost restraint” after Monday’s deadly violence.

“We express our serious concern about the military coup in Sudan on October 25, 2021,” said the text, which France signed, Britain, Mexico, Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana, Ireland and Norway.

The statement also urged all parties to “refrain from the use of violence and emphasise the importance of full respect for human rights, including the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.”

Meanwhile, the UN mission in Sudan strongly denounced the violence, stressing that the “violence must stop. We again call on authorities to cease using force against peaceful protesters and [to] conduct credible investigations into such incidents.”