Sudanese Communists reject military rule; demand power to the people
Sudanese demonstrators march with national flags as they gather during a rally demanding a civilian body to lead the transition to democracy, outside the army headquarters in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Saturday, April 13. The military overthrew President Omar al-Bashir last Thursday after months of protests calling for an end to his nearly 30-year rule. | AP

The leader of Sudan’s interim military council, Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan, promised to “uproot the regime” days after taking control in a military coup following last week’s fall of Islamist authoritarian president Omar al-Bashir.

In a live broadcast, the lieutenant-general vowed to restructure state institutions and end the night curfew, which has been met with a defiant response as protests continue, demanding the military hand control back to the people. In the first hours after the coup, the army suspended the constitution, dissolved the government, declared a three-month state of emergency, imposed a one-month curfew, and closed the country’s borders and airspace.

Lt. Gen. Burhan also announced the release of all political prisoners. However, opposition groups have demanded freedom for those who were rounded up and detained during the huge protests that have swept the country since December 2018.

He claimed the armed forces would maintain “peace, order, and security” across the country during a transitional process lasting at least two years until elections and civilian rule would be in place.

After taking over from the coup leader, Defense Minister Ahmed Awad Ibn Ouf, who stepped down on Friday, he promised to meet opposition leaders to discuss the transfer of power and asked them to “help us restore normal life.”

President Bashir finally stepped down after months of protest over his increasingly authoritarian rule, sparked by a tripling of bread prices when subsidies were removed.

Read “Sudan: A dictator on the ropes” by People’s World international affairs analyst Emile Schepers for more on Omar al-Bashir’s regime and the protest movement against it.

The protest movement has been led by the Sudanese Professionals Association—an umbrella group of trade unions, doctors and lawyers associations, and political parties, including the Sudanese Communist Party.

They have rejected military rule and called for the protests to continue as they press for power to be handed back to the people.

Sudanese Communist Party leader Muhammad Mukhtar al-Khatieb. | Courtesy SCP

The Communist Party demanded the “immediate handover of power to the representatives of the people,” warning of a “classical palace coup” as the military seized control. Among the political prisoners released so far are SCP secretary Muhammad Mukhtar al-Khatieb and another member of the Central Committee, who were greeted at party headquarters following their release. Al-Khatieb had been detained following a protest over bread prices in January 2018.

“The people are chanting everywhere: The revolution continues until final victory,” a statement from the party said.

“Despite the success of the revolution in removing Bashir—who enjoyed the outside support of the troika, the EU, the U.S., Canada, and local reactionary governments such as Qatar, Egypt, and Turkey—and the release of all political prisoners, the temporary setback will be dealt with by the increased unity and the determination of the masses to roll back and defeat the present military transitional council,” party sources said.

The party warned that the military coup was a “carbon copy” of the events in Egypt in 2011 which led to the defeat of the revolutionary process and the installation of the Egyptian army in Cairo.

“Freedom, peace, justice. Revolution is the people’s choice,” SCP officials said, adding: “The Sudanese Communist Party and all the opposition forces are adamant in their resolve to continue the fight until the establishment of a civilian government that represents the masses and implements the democratic alternative program accepted by all the forces, including the Forces of National Consensus, the Sudan Call, the Professionals Alliance, and the armed groups.”

Morning Star


Steve Sweeney
Steve Sweeney

Steve Sweeney writes for Morning Star, the socialist daily newspaper published in Great Britain. He is also a People's Assembly National Committee member, patron of the Peace in Kurdistan campaign, and a proud trade unionist. Steve Sweeney escribe para Morning Star, el diario socialista publicado en Gran Bretaña. También es miembro del Comité Nacional de la Asamblea Popular, patrocinador de la campaña Paz en Kurdistán y un orgulloso sindicalista.