KHARTOUM (AFP) – Sudanese security forces on Sunday fired tear gas at an anti-coup rally by a group of teacher at the start of a two-day civil disobedience call against last month’s military takeover.
Dozens of teachers carried banners reading “no, no to military rule” and called for a transition to “full civilian rule” at a rally outside the education ministry in the capital Khartoum.
Nationwide anti-coup protests -- including by tens of thousands on October 30 -- have occurred since the October 25 coup but have been met by a deadly crackdown. At least 14 demonstrators have been killed and about 300 wounded, according to the independent Central Committee of Sudan’s Doctors.
“We organized a silent stand against the decisions by Burhan outside the ministry of education,” said Mohamed al-Amin, a geography teacher who took part in that stand against the country’s top general, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.
“Police later came and fired tear gas at us though we were simply standing on the streets and carrying banners,” he said.
There were no immediate reports of casualties but a union of Sudanese educators said “a large number of teachers were detained.”
The teachers’ rally came after the military leadership which carried out the coup replaced heads of department at the education ministry, as part of sweeping changes it made in multiple sectors.
“The protest rejects the return of remnants of the old regime” of ousted president Omar al-Bashir, the teachers union said in a Facebook post.
Sunday’s rally followed calls for civil disobedience made by the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), an umbrella of unions which were instrumental in the 2018-2019 protests which ousted the longtime autocrat Bashir in April 2019.
“The Sudanese people have rejected the military coup,” the SPA said on Twitter, vowing “no negotiation, no partnership, no legitimacy”.