Sudan update: Resistance Committees call for formation of ‘People’s Authority’ to overthrow coup regime 

Barricades are still in place in major cities amid ongoing protests – picture via Kalaka Resistance Committees on Facebook

Massive protests are continuing across Sudan as part of the resistance by civilian revolutionary movements to the military coup which took place in October 2021. On 14 February 15 cities across Sudan participated in a renewed March of the Millions. In Khartoum, tens of thousands joined marches which headed towards the national parliament. A week later, another major mobilisation, ‘Break the Chains’ again saw thousands take to the streets demanding the release of political prisoners. 

Khartoum’s Resistance Committees, the neighbourhood-based revolutionary organisations which are leading the movement, issued a political charter on 28 February calling for the formation of a new ‘People’s Authority’ opposed to the coup regime. The new body would unite revolutionary forces and exclude all those who took part in the October 2021 coup. 

Meanwhile, members of the Resistance Committees in Northern State have maintained the barricade of the main highway running through the state, blocking lorries coming to and from Egypt, a major ally of Burhan’s regime. The blockade was initially a response to a planned increase in electricity prices. 

Intense repression

Members of the Sudanese Teachers’ Committee (STC) report that “the political situation is still congested and blocked. Protesters are taking to the streets daily. There are 8 main demonstrations planned each month plus other local ones.”

The military have intensified their crackdown according to the STC activists. “The previous intelligence system has been reactivated; their authority was limited in the last government, and they have been given full power. They are conducting mass arrests of activists. They show up in large numbers, armed with war-like ammunition. They are practicing horrible torture, verbal aggression, and violence against the protesters and detainees. At least 200-300 were imprisoned and 2000 injured. Those arrested are kept in unknown locations and have no formal charges.” 

Sudan’s military regime has arrested several leading members of the Empowerment Removal Committee, which was tasked with dismantling the structures of the former regime by the Transitional Government, including the body’s chair. ‘Empowerment’ (tamkin in Arabic). As of 17 February 110 people had been detained in Kober prison for three days. The director of the Sudanese Standards Organisation Sami Bella is believed to have been detained. Meanwhile, UNHCR rapporteur Adama Deng called for a swift and impartial investigation into the killing and arbitrary detention of demonstrators.  

International pressure led to the release of Amira Osman, who had been detained for 15 days in Omdurman Women’s Prison. Osman is now facing trumped up charges of possession of illegal ammunition. 

More than 100 political prisoners, including leading ERC member Wajdi Saleh and former Minister of Cabinet Affairs Khalid Omer Yousif, have begun a hunger strike. Two more protestors, Munther Abdelrahim (18) and Muhammad Ibrahim el Nakhli (17) were shot and killed by the security forces during protests. 

Economic crisis 

The political crisis has been accompanied by rising social distress, Sudanese Teachers Committee activists say. “All the government offices are closed due to roadblocks. The political and economic situation is deteriorating. There are massive increases in the cost of living and services such as cooking gas.” 

  • Send our model letter calling for the detainees’ immediate release and for those responsible for disappearances, torture and abuse to face justice to the Sudanese embassy. Copy and paste this text into the contact form or use your own wording: “Dear Ambassador, I am writing to urge the Sudanese authorities to immediately release all other political detainees. I am deeply concerned to read reports that some of the detainees have been subject to forced disappearance and tortured while in custody. Those responsible must be brought to trial. Yours faithfully” [Please add details of your union branch or organisational affiliation]
  • Download a copy of this update to print and share here
  • Call on the British government to stop legitimising the military coup leaders 
  • Pass a resolution in your union branch 
  • Invite a Sudanese activist to address your union branch meeting. Email with details of the meeting.

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