KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - Thousands of Sudanese have continued their firm sit-in at the doorsteps of the Armed Forces headquarters, a sit-in that continues to be applauded and beefed up by the public around the country with the sole aim of scraping what remains of the ill-fated regime of Marshal Bashir and his allies in the so-called Islamic Movement.
The week’s landmark events are:
Resignation of Military Council Members
Three of the generals of the Transitional Military Council (TMC) were forced by the protesters to tender their resignation and quit the political scene as remnants of the defunct regime. They are:
(1) Lt. General Omar Zainala’abdeen, the chairman of the TMC Political committee, who is accused by the opposition leaders as being general secretary of the clandestine Islamic Movement in the national army.
(2) Lt. General (Police) Altayyib Babikir, who is accused of linkage to the defunct regime.
(3) Lt General Mohammad Jalal (security), who is accused of having a share in the heavy-handed handling of the protesters during the public unrest that broke out in December, protesting the careless handling of the economy and demanding regime change.
The three had reportedly succumbed to the public pressure and tendered their resignations. An unsigned statement said the TMC had rejected these resignations, while some other reports say the three are no longer members of the TMC. The fate of the three generals is yet to be clarified. All in all, the events had bypassed these three men when the TMC reluctantly decided to engage the opposition alliance of Freedom and Change that lead the public revolt in direct talks about the division of power during the transitional period up to the general elections.
Recreation and the Arts
Members of the sit-in amassing the places in front of the Army General Command and the vast areas beyond, have demonstrated high organizational abilities in the arranging and tidying up the sit-in zone for a long stay. The youthful organizers work in two shifts: One for the day and another for the night. This arrangement has helped every member to carry out his normal work and family responsibilities during off-hours and then return to the sit-in zone at his fixed time shift.
Shift change is orderly and is not lacking in merrymaking: When members of the incoming night shift pour in, the outgoing members of the day shift greet them with chants like: The tough guys are going and the easy guys are coming!
All of this is done with the habitual tender and intimate hand touches of Sudanese youths.
The sit-in zone has also become a Sudanese Hyde Park in its own right. Talents of sorts are on the display in singing, sports, poetry recitation, theatre shows and the display of wall drawings. Islamic Sufi (mystics) also chant expressive songs in the love of the Almighty and his messenger, The Prophet Mohammad.
The congregation is a semblance of a beehive in cleaning, food preparation and distribution and security checking of newcomers. When one enters the place, merry men and women greet him/her with the polite melody: “Checks are made at ease, so up with your hands please!”
Wall paintings and graffiti are the most conspicuous at the place. Painters of this art freely express themselves on the wall of the Army General Command, hitherto faintly colored. In addition to the touch of beauty they carry, wall drawings aim at chronicling the peaceful popular uprising. The images show demonstrators holding their fists together or showing victory signs with pictures of men and women who have shone during and lead the uprising in the background.
Solidarity of the Sudanese Regions
In support of the sit-in and in the face of the intransigence of the military, tens of thousands of demonstrators since last Monday journeyed on board trains and buses from the outlying regions of the vast nation to the Army H.Q in solidarity with and to join the sit-in. Probably, these heavy downpours of zealous demonstrators have forced the military to bow down and accept to share the proposed supreme council (the presidency) with the opposition, share rates of which are now negotiated by the two parties.
The incoming waves of protestors from the outlying regions have also highly raised the morale of the embattled throngs at the sit-in zone.
The so-called ‘Nile Train’ that on Monday carried thousands of demonstrators from the railway terminal City of Atbara (400 Km North of Khartoum) was the most outstanding. As the train glided towards Khartoum, it was forced for stops by citizens along its route who were ready with delicious food and cold water. Citizens at Aljaili and its neighboring villages of what is locally known as the Northern Rural District slay oxen and sheep, cooked their meat and forced the train to stop for those on board to get down and eat.
The most moving scene at Aljaili was when a poor young boy vending groundnuts threw all his merchandize to those aboard the train and proudly refused to take the price, despite pleas from the passengers to take the money.
The City of Atbara has a long history of revolts, first against the British colonization, and then against the military dictators who ruled the country, thanks to its heavyweight labor movement.
It is enough to say that the City of Atbara has ignited the first spark of the revolt of 19 December 2019 that so soon inflamed the entire country and eventually lead to the collapse of Bashir’s dictatorial rule.
The masses in the Army H.Q sit-in received their compatriots from Atbara City with the vengeful slogan: “Blood For Blood! We will not Accept the Diyya (Islamic blood money for a killed person). About 80 persons were reportedly killed in this revolt.
Similar to what happened along the railway line from Atbara, the sit-in organizers in Khartoum butchered camels in honor of the incomers from Atbara and other outlying towns and villages.
The Atbara 2019 train is a reminder of the 1964 and 1985 trains that ferried thousands of demonstrators from Kasala (East) and Atbara (North) during the 1964 and 1985 popular uprisings that ousted military dictators Ibrahim Abboud and Ja’afar Nimeri, respectively.
Seeing that the Railway Manager was reluctant to prepare the train from Atbara to Khartoum, the demonstrators congregated in front of his office and forced him to steer the train. The demonstrators, as well, shouted slogans condemning the deterioration of the-once Africa’s biggest railway service and the punishment of those responsible.
The towns of Sinnar, Sinja , Rufafa’a and Alsouki (all South of Khartoum) have also ferried tens of buses to Khartoum to join the sit-in and join the massive Friday prayer at the Army H.Q. The busses also carried loads of mangoes, bananas, guava and lemon for the steadfast demonstrators at the sit-in zone in Khartoum.
General Sisi: Mind Your Own Business
Hundreds of Sudanese marched to the Egyptian Embassy in Khartoum on Thursday and Saturday condemning what they saw as underhand dealing on the part of Egyptian Dictator, General Abdelfattah Alsisi, against the popular uprising in the Sudan and a continuation of the Egyptian desire that Sudan be ruled by a military dictator.
Sisi had reportedly held a meeting with AU officials and African leaders that ended up in the AU allowing the Sudanese Transitional Military Council to stay in office for three months, instead of the AU’s previous deadline of 15 days for the Sudanese military to cede power to a civilian government.
The marchers chanted slogans such as: “Sisi, this is the Sudan, your borderline is Aswan (in upper Egypt)!”
The Sudanese protesters had sharply condemned Sisi’s move as a blatant intervention in the affairs of Sudan that could allow the military to gather itself together and perpetuate its stay in power.
Egypt is accused by the Sudanese public of always supporting dictatorial rule in Sudan, for fear that the breezes of freedom can find their way to Sudan’s Northern neighbor.
The Sudanese are also infuriated by Egypt’s unlawful seizure in 1995 of the Halaib enclave on the North-Eastern border of the two nations. They are also angry over ousted dictator Bashir’s impotence towards the Egyptian occupation and continuous Egyptianization of the area.
E N D