Sudan protesters push for new state structures

Sunday February 02 2020

Sudanese protesters march in the capital Khartoum on November 30, 2019. The Sudanese Professionals Association organised a demonstration to demand that the Sudanese Council of Ministers appoint state governors. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Tens of thousands of Sudanese took to the streets in the capital, Khartoum, to demand implementation of the country’s transitional authority structures.

The Sudanese Professionals Association — an umbrella group of 17 different trade unions — organised a demonstration to demand that the Sudanese Council of Ministers appoint state governors.

The demonstrators are urging the government to form a Parliament and to appoint civilian governors.

Some people criticised the demonstrations because the current government led the revolution to ouster former president Omar al-Bashir and enjoyed popular support, and should therefore not be pressured.

However, others supported the protests saying the transitional period to form the government structures has dragged.

Some members of the Revolutionary Resistance Committees in Khartoum said they rejected the demonstrations by their comrades in the Sudanese Professionals Association.


The National Umma Party, led by Sadiq AL-Mahdi, urged the Sudanese Professionals Association to stop the calls for demonstrations, in the interests of the country and the revolution.

On the other hand, the Sudanese Journalists Network supported the demonstrations.

On Monday, the Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change announced “processions” throughout the country to demand the completion of the transitional authority structures.

The coalition led popular protests, which began in late 2018 and led to the removal of al-Bashir and then pressured the Military Council until a transitional phase began.

The Sudanese Professionals Association called for millions to come out for the protests in order to push for the completion of “the goals of the revolution and the structures of the transitional authority, by appointing state governors, forming the legislative council and forming independent commissions.”

The formation of the legislative council was supposed to be done by November 17, according to the transitional constitutional document.

The transitional phase began on August 21, and lasts for 39 months, ending with elections, during which power is shared by the army and the Alliance of Freedom and Change Forces.

On April 13, the dissolved junta stopped appointing state governors, tasking commanders of squads and military districts with tasks, and last August the military governors asked the government to relieve them of their posts, and choose civilian governors.

However, agreements between the Sudanese government and the armed forces last December led to the postponement of this step until a comprehensive peace agreement is reached, which guarantees power for the armed groups.