Tensions have risen in Sudan amid ongoing disagreements between protesters and military rulers over the makeup of the transitional council. Sudan's protesters held a mass rally yesterday to step up pressure on the military to hand power to civilians following last month's overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir. The Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change, a coalition led by the Sudanese Professionals Association, had called for a million-person march as talks with the military council reached a deadlock over the role of the generals in the transitional period.
Earlier this week, the military demanded that protesters clear roadblocks around their main sit-in outside the military headquarters in the capital, Khartoum, which was set up days before al-Bashir's overthrow. The protesters responded by building more barricades.
Protesters have massed outside the army complex in central Khartoum since April 6, initially to demand the overthrow of longtime leader Omar al-Bashir. But since his ouster by the army on April 11, the protesters have kept up their sit-in. Since al-Bashir's ouster, the protesters have expressed fears the military will cling to power and undermine all attempts to instate a civilian government in a country that lived for decades under military dictatorship.
Protests first broke out on Dec. 19 in response to the tripling of bread prices, swiftly turning into nationwide rallies against al-Bashir's three-decade rule. Protesters, who were initially jubilant over word of the coup, reacted by saying they will not end their nearly weeklong sit-in outside the military's headquarters in central Khartoum until a civilian transition government is formed.