Sudan orders end of Internet shutdown | Military News

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A Sudanese court has ruled that internet services cut in a military coup more than two weeks ago must be restored, a lawyer said, as anti-coup protesters continued a campaign of civil disobedience.

Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan, reporting from the capital Khartoum, said internet services still did not return as of Tuesday afternoon.

“Those who depend on the Internet from their phone data have not been able to access it since the shutdown in the early hours of October 25,” Morgan said.

She added that the Sudanese people regard the blockage of their ability to express themselves freely as a serious violation of their rights.

In the aftermath of the coup, Army General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan accused online media of “inciting sedition” but also vowed that “Internet services will gradually come back”.

“The decision of the Khartoum District Court ordered the immediate resumption of Internet services,” lawyer Abdelazim Hassan told AFP news agency.

The case had been brought by a group of lawyers and the Sudanese consumer protection society, he said, adding that the court had also ruled that the services should operate during a possible appeal process.

Online access in Sudan has been largely blocked since October 25, the day of a widely condemned military coup, and phone lines have also been interrupted intermittently.

Continuous strikes, civil disobedience

This development comes after a major pro-democracy group in Sudan, which was instrumental in the protests that toppled former President Omar al-Bashir in 2019, called for two days of civil disobedience and a campaign strike against last month’s military takeover.

The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) called for strikes and civil disobedience in several cities on Sunday and Monday under the slogan “No negotiations, no compromise, no sharing of power”, and pledged to continue to protest until a civilian government is put in place to lead the transition to full civilian rule.

The SPA call precedes a one-million-man march scheduled for Saturday by anti-coup activists in the capital Khartoum to protest the military coup against the military-civilian transitional government.

Nationwide protests against the coup have been taking place since October 25, when the Sudanese army, led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, seized power, dissolving the transitional administration and arresting dozens of officials. government officials and politicians.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, al-Burhan said he was determined to hand power over to a civilian government, promising not to participate in any government that came after the transition period. But SPA, an umbrella association of unions, has called for an all-civilian government, saying Burhan’s words are untrustworthy.

At least 14 protesters were killed and around 300 injured in a military crackdown, according to the Sudanese Independent Central Medical Committee. Al-Burhan, however, denied that the military was responsible for the deaths of protesters.

The military seizure saw the armed forces arrest Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok before General al-Burhan dissolved the ruling council and declared a state of emergency.

The move comes after weeks of tension between military and civilian figures who have shared power in Sudan since the overthrow of its longtime leader Omar al-Bashir two years ago.

Increasing pressure

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington and Cairo have “a common interest” in getting Sudan’s democratic transition back on track. Blinken’s comments were made during the US-Egyptian strategic dialogue.

“The military takeover that began on October 25 has been dangerously destabilizing,” Blinken said. “The reestablishment of the civilian-led transitional government is the only way to facilitate the aspirations of the Sudanese people, who have shown remarkable bravery in repeatedly calling for democracy,” he added.

On Sunday, hundreds of anti-coup protesters gathered in Khartoum, as well as in its twin city of Omdurman, Wad Madani in the south and the town of Atbara in the north, to step up pressure against the military in the in the midst of the lingering political crisis.

Sudanese security forces arrested dozens of protesters and fired tear gas during several anti-coup rallies.


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