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Sudanese oppsotion calls for escalation against military council

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Protesters and army soldiers outside the SAF headquarters on 8 April 2019 morning (ST photo)
May 12, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese opposition forces on Sunday called for a sudden escalation of popular pressure on the military junta after attempts to remove the barricades in the vicinity of the sit-in outside the army headquarters, but the military junta strongly denied the move.

Thousands of supporters of the opposition forces continue for more than a month to sit-in in Khartoum saying they will end the protests when the military junta hand over power to a civilian government.

The forces of the "Declaration of Freedom and Change" issued a timetable to escalate the protests for a week, starting from Sunday. They plan to organize marches to the sit-in in Khartoum and the other states in addition to processions by professionals groups.

In a statement released on Sunday, the opposition said they will escalate protests ahead to the declaration of civil disobedience, which is scheduled to take place next Wednesday.

These escalation steps came after recent attempts to break the sit-in around the army headquarters by force.

The opposition forces launched an urgent appeal on Sunday evening, saying that troops belonging to the military intelligence and remnants of the regime, attacked some members of the field committees responsible for providing drinking water, ice and food to the protesters in the sit-in.

The statement noted that these forces prevented the delivery of basic commodities to the sit-in outside the army headquarters.

It stressed its rejection of the move, which threatens efforts to provide food to the fasting protesters and to meet their basic needs in the holy month.

Further, it considered that these arbitrary measures are part of a plan and several attempts to break the sit-in.

The opposition forces called on the Sudanese to take to the street and to head to the sit-in.

Also, dozens of youth closed the main Nile Street in response to attempts to disband the sit-in outside the army headquarters.

In response, the military council denied allegations that the army or other security forces attempted to break the sit-in by force.

"A number of media outlets have reported that there are attempts to forcibly stop the sit-in by the armed forces and other regular forces," the statement said. "We assure all citizens and sit-inners in particular that this claim is completely false."

the statement pointed out that the military council continued to repeat that it has no intention to disperse the sit-in by force.

"As for what happens outside the sit-in area, that is another matter that needs to be dealt with," said the statement.

The military council said that "groups" have closed a large part of Nile Street and some other streets, a matter "which is completely unacceptable and creates a kind of chaos and harassment."

He stressed that these actions will face the necessary measures.

The slow pace of talks for power transfer to civilians and the demand of the military council to lead the transitional period have created a growing mistrust between the two sides, as many predict full deterioration in the upcoming days.

The opposition coalition gave the military council 72 hours to reach a deal on power handover.

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