Protest leaders dismiss Sudan emergency, demand Bashir quit

AFP
February 24,2019

KHARTOUM: Sudanese protest leaders on Saturday dismissed veteran President Omar al-Bashir´s declaration of a state of emergency and vowed to keep up nationwide demonstrations until his "regime...

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KHARTOUM: Sudanese protest leaders on Saturday dismissed veteran President Omar al-Bashir´s declaration of a state of emergency and vowed to keep up nationwide demonstrations until his "regime is overthrown."

Bashir´s three-decade rule has been rocked by two months of protests that a deadly crackdown has failed to suppress and on Friday he imposed a nationwide state of emergency and dissolved the federal and provincial governments.

In a televised speech to the nation, the veteran leader pledged to form a government of technocrats to address the country´s chronic economic woes, which have been the driving force behind the protests.

But protest organisers and their supporters in the political opposition, said the state of emergency showed that Bashir´s government was weakened and only its overthrow would now satisfy the protesters.

"Imposing a state of emergency shows the fear within the regime," the Alliance for Freedom and Change said

"We will continue with our people to take to the streets across all towns and villages until our demand has been achieved."

The National Umma Party, whose leader Sadiq al-Mahdi was Sudan´s elected prime minister when Bashir seized power in a coup in 1989, said the protests against his successor´s iron-fisted rule would continue until he quit. "Dissolving the government and imposing a state of emergency is nothing but a repetition of this regime´s failures," it said.

"Nothing will satisfy the people who are taking to the streets except the overthrow of this regime."

Analysts said the state of emergency was an act of desperation that would make it even harder to turn round the economy and ease public anger. "The declaration of emergency powers only makes it less likely that the economy can be revived," said Eric Reeves, a senior fellow at Harvard University, who has tracked Sudan´s politics and economy for two decades. "The regime has never understood economics...that´s why there are in the mess they are."

Sudan has been hit by a chronic shortage of hard currency to pay for imports that has worsened since South Sudan became independent in 2011, taking with it the bulk of oil earnings.


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