Opposition increases pressure: Numerous arrests on nationwide strike in Sudan

Opposition groups in Sudan have launched a nationwide strike on Sunday. In doing so, they want to put pressure on the Transitional Military Council to hand over power to a civilian government.

It's about a “peaceful form of resistance,” said the trade union alliance SPA on Twitter. Only doctors and nurses are exempted from the general strike so that the sick and injured could be treated further.

Security forces arrested dozens of opposition supporters on Sunday. Airport staff and employees of the Sudanese central bank have been removed, said her colleagues the German Press Agency.

The strike follows the alleged arrest of two opposition leaders. The secretary-general of the rebel group SPLM-N, Ismail Jallab, and their spokesman, Mubarak Ardol, were arrested on Friday after a meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, according to international media reports. The reports, which were based on unnamed sources, could not initially be independently verified.

Abiy tries to mediate between the military leadership and the opposition in the crisis in neighboring Sudan. He had met on Friday with the Transitional Military Council and with members of the opposition alliance FFC.

Security forces had violently dissolved a week-long sit-in in Khartoum last Monday, which had significantly contributed to the overthrow of long-term ruler Omar al-Bashir. According to a medical association more than 100 people were killed and more than 500 injured. The Sudanese Ministry of Health gave the number of deaths at 61. Security forces continued to protest against demonstrators in the days after.

President Al-Bashir, who had ruled the country for three decades with a hard hand, had been overthrown by the armed forces in April. The coup had been preceded by months of mass protests. Since then, the military and the opposition have been struggling to form a transitional government.

Pope Francis received the inhabitants of Sudan on Sunday in his prayers in St. Peter's Square in Rome. “The news coming out of Sudan these days is a source of pain and worry. Let us pray for this nation that the violence may end and that dialogue seeks the common good, “said the head of the Catholics.

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