In Sudan, military power restores internet connection, cut off since coup

In the aftermath of the bloodiest day of mobilization that Sudan has known since the coup of October 25, the new military power restored, Thursday, November 18, the Internet connection. Cut off since the putsch of General Abdel Fattah Al-Bourhane, its reestablishment was demanded as much by the United Nations as by Western ambassadors, activists and even Sudanese judges.

Hitherto deaf to these calls, the generals had still isolated the country on Wednesday, also cutting telephone communications. But after an unprecedented outburst of violence – at least fifteen demonstrators were killed, during the single day of Wednesday, by the police, and dozens of others, wounded by bullets – the new power has loosened the noose . After restoring the phone overnight, the Internet connection was recovered in the afternoon.

While the non-governmental organization NetBlocks found that the internet was indeed “Partially restored”, activists on social networks called on the Sudanese to upload videos and information about the protests of the day before. Because Wednesday is and will remain, for the antiputsch, the day of « massacre ». In Khartoum-Nord alone, at least eleven demonstrators were killed by security forces who, according to a union of pro-democracy doctors, were targeting “The head, neck or torso”.

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International convictions

Elsewhere in the capital and across Sudan, the parades dispersed before nightfall from Wednesday to Thursday, but in North Khartoum, the antiputsch continued to defend their barricades on Thursday, responding to tear gas canisters with stone throws.

In previous major protests, many capitals have warned generals, but this time around, the United Nations (UN) only condemned live ammunition the next day. “Quite ashamed”. The European Union (EU) has denounced “Unacceptable senseless killings”, while Clément Voule, UN rapporteur for freedom of association, called “The international community to put pressure on Sudan to immediately end the repression”.

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also condemned the violent crackdown on law enforcement on Thursday, urging the military to allow peaceful protests. “The army must respect the rights of civilians to assemble peacefully and express their opinions”Mr Blinken said at a press conference in the Nigerian capital Abuja, telling himself “Deeply concerned” by the violence of the day before.

“No negotiations, no partnership, no compromise”

Protesters against the military coup in Sudan, November 17, 2021.

The violent actions of the military power had sparse the civilian troops in recent days: the demonstrators were in the tens of thousands on October 30 and November 13, but only a few thousand on Wednesday. Thursday the calls to the ” civil disobedience “ similarly, did not encounter any echo in the street where traffic had resumed normally.

While the memory of the death of 250 demonstrators during the revolt that ended, in 2019, thirty years of dictatorship of Omar Al-Bashir is still alive, the Association of Sudanese professionals assured that the repression was only “Reinforce the slogans” chanted since October 25: “No negotiations, no partnership, no compromise” with the army. “We will continue to demonstrate peacefully until the fall of the putschists”, adds the largest party in the country, Umma, while activists, journalists and ordinary passers-by have been arrested by the hundreds.

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“Find a way out”

On Wednesday evening, the doctors’ union also accused the security forces of chasing opponents of the putsch into hospitals and of firing tear gas at the wounded and ambulances. Assuring never to have opened fire, the police, for their part, count only one death and thirty wounded among the demonstrators in Khartoum-North due to tear gas, against 89 wounded police officers.

On October 25, General Bourhane reshuffled the cards of a shaky transition for months. He rounded up almost all the civilians in power and put an end to the sacred union formed in 2019 by civilians and soldiers. He has also since been re-elected as the head of the interim authorities, excluding members who are supporters of an exclusively civilian power.

But for the United States, “Everyone wants to find a way out”said a senior official on Mr Blinken’s plane. “There is really something to find a way forward”, he added, as the secretary of state pledged that the world would support Sudan again if “The army gives[tait] the train [de la transition] on rails “.

The World with AFP

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In Sudan, military power restores internet connection, cut off since coup