Khartoum, Sudan – It has been a series of battles between social and regular media: the first run by the Sudanese Forces for Freedom and change and the second run by the Sudanese government. The overall objective of each side is to convince viewers about the reality of the declared civil disobedience in Khartoum and outside.
While the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) publishes pictures of closed offices, shops, pharmacies and private business to demonstrate that the stay-away it called for was carried out, the official media publishes pictures and quotes officials about work going normally in the various government establishments in Khartoum and especially in the states.
Eyewitness and residents say many quarters in Khartoum are virtually clogged by blockades that prevented people from coming to work place or getting out of the quarters. In fact to the exception of butcheries, canteens and vegetable and bakeries, all other business in the peripheries of Khartoum closed in the morning time, they argued
But the main government establishments and institutions including the Central Bank of the Sudan, the Army, the Police and Security institutions are functioning normally officials stressed and regular media reported.
The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) called for the civil disobedience from this Sunday, starts of the working days in Sudan, and said it would be an open ended strike until the Transitional Military Council makes submissive move and hand over power to a civilian authority.
The Council which did not officially announce its stands against the Association call- because it did not urge functionaries and employees to resume work following a week long holiday- has however allowed the official media to show that people are back to work, albeit not in earnest, as the case after each vacation or holiday.
The Association claimed via social media outlets, that in some sectors the disobedience is more than ninety percent, a claim that would be ascertained only on after Monday when the exact number establishments that have not operated is known. The government argument would also be ascertained if after five days, the same situation subsisted.
The tit for tat might continue, if the current mediation offered by Ethiopia’ Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed fails to spur the two sides into sitting to the negotiating table and overcome the crisis with the two Sudanese parties ending up in a win-win situation.
However observers judge that until that happen any side that wins the media battles will win the final war.
But a group of Sudanese political parties, including the Muslim Brothers, the Umma Federal Party, the National Reform Party, the National Front for Change expressed concern that whoever wins will be at the expense of the man in the streets. The political parties have denounced the recent raid on the sit in and called for investigation but they also said the two sides should overcome their hard feelings and surmount their grudges and sit for a dialogue that would help reach an acceptable solution to the Sudanese crisis. They, contrary to the Association, do not condone the civil disobedience, no matter how successful it was. Rather, they are for Sudanese quick resilience not civil disobedience.
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