Sudanese police and Rapid Support Forces used tear gas Monday to disperse dozens of protesters in Khartoum North and removed barriers they had set up on the main street leading to the heart of the capital.
Protests in Sudan After Army Wants Islamic Law in Constitution
The dispersal came as stalled talks between the opposition and the ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) resumed.
The protesters had gathered to pile pressure on the ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) to hand power to civilians. The forces moved against the demonstrators after they had blocked a road leading to al-Mek Nimir Bridge, a main artery of Khartoum.
The police, backed by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, dismantled barriers that were erected by protesters at the entrance to the bridge, causing traffic jams according to a Reuters witness. The forces also dispersed about 100 protesters, but there were no reports of casualties.
The Sudanese Professionals’ Association, which spearheaded demonstrations that led to the ousting on April 11 of long-time president Omar al-Bashir, has been locked in negotiations with the TMC over a proposed joint civilian-military body to oversee the country.
Protesters, demanding a swift handover of power to civilians, have been camped out outside the Defense Ministry compound in central Khartoum since April 6.
The African Union (AU) and the United Nations said in the past that they are in support of a civilian-led transitional government in Sudan. After a meeting with the U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the AU Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat said Monday that sustaining the TMC is out of the question and “it is not acceptable.”