KHARTOUM: Some 3,000 protesters in Khartoum on Saturday rejected UN mediation efforts between civilian and military leaders as “foreign interference” and called for religious rule in Sudan, an AFP correspondent said.
A military coup led by army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan last year derailed a fragile transition to civilian rule after the 2019 ouster of long-time autocrat Omar Bashir.
For 12 months, near weekly anti-coup protests have been met with force, and efforts by the UN and other international actors to bring Sudan’s military government and civilian leaders to the table have stalled.
The crowd that gathered on Saturday in front of the headquarters of the UN mission in Sudan chanted pro-Bashir slogans and burned photos of UN envoy Volker Perthes.
“We are demonstrating for our dignity and our sovereignty. Volker has defiled our country,” said protester Hafez Joubouri.
Another said he wanted “the armed forces to side with the people and kick Volker out today.”
With police standing nearby, some demonstrators waved banners reading “No to foreign interference” and “No to the UN,” an AFP correspondent said.
The crowd later dispersed without incident.
The country has been grappling with deepening political unrest and a spiraling economic crisis since Gen. Al-Burhan seized power on Oct. 25, 2021 and arrested the civilian leaders with whom he had agreed to share power.
Civilian leaders have refused to negotiate with the military before it commits to a timetable for full withdrawal from power.
Pro-democracy activists worry that Gen. Al-Burhan’s regime has reappointed Bashir loyalists to official positions, including in the judiciary that is now trying the former Islamist dictator.
On Thursday, security forces had fired tear gas at thousands of demonstrators demanding an end to military rule.
The crackdown on anti-coup protests has killed at least 119 people, according to pro-democracy medics.