protest leaders call for "civil disobedience" to drive the army out of power

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The demonstrators want to respond to the violent repression with a "peaceful act".

The leaders of the protest in Sudan on Saturday (June 8th) called for "civil disobedience" from Sunday to put pressure on the military in power, accused of brutal repression against protesters. "The civil disobedience movement will begin Sunday and will not end until a civilian government has been announced", said the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), a major player in the dispute, in a statement.

The call follows the visit to Khartoum of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, mediator between the protest and the Transitional Military Council, in power since the removal of President Omar al-Bashir on April 11. It also comes five days after the violent dispersal by the security forces of a sit-in, held since April 6, in front of army headquarters in Khartoum, as a continuation of the protest movement unleashed in December.

Qualified of "massacre" by the protest, this dispersion was followed by a wave of repression this week. According to locals, a climate of "terror" seized the capital. According to doctors close to the protest, more than 100 people died and more than 500 were wounded, mostly during the dispersal of the sit-in. The government has denied these figures, citing a record of 61 killed.

For the SPA, civil disobedience is "a peaceful act capable of bringing the world's most powerful arsenal of weapons to its knees". This new form of action comes after two days of general strike, May 28 and 29, to put pressure on the army. The form this will take "civil disobedience" has not been specified, while the streets of Khartoum are almost deserted since Monday because of the repression.

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