Sudanese crowds took to the streets of several major cities in the capital and other parts of the country on Monday in support of civilian rule and their government. Though such scenes are rare, the massive march was largely organized by the main opposition party in support of the elections, which were marred by widespread allegations of voter fraud.
Reuters reports that between 40,000 and 50,000 people marched through Khartoum in the largest show of support for President Omar Al-Bashir’s rule in years. The rally was also protested against a recent decision by Sudan’s election commission to suspend the activities of several opposition groups.
Sudan’s civil strife dates back to the late 1990s, when the country’s President Omar al-Bashir seized power in a military coup. Although he won re-election earlier this month, Bashir, who has been indicted for genocide by the International Criminal Court, faces growing pressure from a coalition of opposition parties who are contesting the voting process. “I prefer that the 20 million of us be left alone,” said Abbas Abbas, head of the Sudanese Congress Party, which is part of the coalition, according to the BBC.
Human rights groups and international observers alike have reported major irregularities in the election process, including the biased participation of the military. Its head, Gen. Ahmed al-Assar, did not vote.
Sudan’s leaders often portray the country as “back on its feet” after years of U.S. economic sanctions were removed in October 2016. The sanctions are being lifted in phases, in response to Bashir’s signing of peace deals and other commitments to the international community.
Read the full story at Reuters.
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