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Shops open, buses run on day 2 of Sudan civil campaign

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Sudanese soldiers stand guard a street in Khartoum on June 9, 2019. – Sudanese police fired tear gas Sunday at protesters taking part in the first day of a civil disobedience campaign, called in the wake of a deadly crackdown on demonstrators. Protesters gathered tyres, tree trunks and rocks to build new roadblocks in Khartoum’s northern Bahari district, a witness told AFP, but riot police swiftly moved in and fired tear gas at them. (Photo by – / AFP)

Several shops and fuel stations opened and buses ran Monday in the Sudanese capital, on the second day of a nationwide civil disobedience campaign called to pressure the ruling military.

The campaign comes a week after a deadly crackdown on protesters in Khartoum left dozens dead and almost two months since the April 11 ouster of Sudan’s longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir following months of protests.

Four people were killed on Sunday — the first day of the campaign — two in Khartoum and two in the capital’s twin city of Omdurman, just across the Nile river.

Protesters had set up several roadblocks across many areas of the capital that the ruling generals have vowed to remove in order to bring “life to normal”.

On Monday, several shops, fuel stations and some branches of private banks were open across Khartoum, an AFP correspondent who toured the capital said.

Public transport buses were also ferrying passengers, while more vehicles and people were seen on the capital’s streets, he said.

“If I work it does not mean that I don’t support the revolution,” said bus driver Abdulmajid Mohamed.

“I have to work to support my family or else we will have no money.”

The generals have blamed protesters for a deterioration in security in Khartoum and across the country.

“The Alliance for Freedom and Change (umbrella protest movement) is fully responsible for recent unfortunate incidents… including blocking roads which is violating international humanitarian laws,” Lieutenant General Jamaleddine Omar said on state television late Sunday.

“The Military Council has decided to reinforce the presence of armed forces, RSF and other regular forces to help normal life return,” he said, including the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces behind the repression.

He said security forces would provide “security to isolated civilians, reopen roads and facilitate the mobility of people, public and private transport and protect markets and strategic state installations”.

The civil disobedience campaign was launched after men in military fatigues on June 3 raided a weeks-long sit-in leaving dozens of people dead, according to protest leaders who said several bodies were removed from the Nile.

The overall death toll since June 3 has reached 118, according to a doctors committee linked to the protesters who are pressing the military to hand over power to a civilian administration.

The health ministry says 61 people died nationwide in last week’s crackdown, 49 of them from “live ammunition” in Khartoum.


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