Sudanese protest and opposition leaders called yesterday for a campaign of civil disobedience in response to what one of them described as the military’s “disappointing” answer to their proposals for an interim government.
This could put the protesters and the ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) on a collision course following weeks of wrangling over how to manage an interim period after the ousting of long-ruling President Omar al-Bashir from office.
The constitutional draft prepared by the DFCF describes the duties of a sovereign transitional council that would replace the TMC, but does not specify who would sit on it. The plan, seen by Reuters, also outlines the responsibilities of the Cabinet and a 120-member legislature.
On Tuesday, the TMC welcomed the proposals but said they neglected some important issues such as a reference to Islamic sharia as a source for legislation. The protesters accused the TMC of dragging its feet, saying issues like sharia were not a matter for the interim constitution.
“Issues like sharia and the language of the state, those are ideological weapons the former regime (kept) using to divide the people for the issue of mobilization,” DFCF member Yousef said.
“Muslims against non-Muslims, Arabs against non-Arabs. It’s a very dangerous thing and we are not willing to go for this game.”
Sudan’s population of around 40 million is about 97 percent Muslim, with most of the rest Christians. The country is a mix of ethnic groups, including Arabs, Nubians and other African ethnic minorities.
“We call for and prepare for civil disobedience,” Madani Abbas Madani, a leader of the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF), told a news conference in Khartoum. The DFCF, the opposition groups’ umbrella body, did not give details of what it planned.
But the DFCF has led work strikes, marches, protest sit-ins and other acts of civil disobedience for weeks. Protesters have also blocked bridges, roads and rail tracks, disrupting Sudan’s transport infrastructure.