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Al-Bashir accuses “enemies of Sudan” of funding media campaign backing protests

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Al-Bashir addressing a Sufi crowd at Al-Kireida area in White Nile State on 20 January 2019 (ST photo)
February 8, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese President on Thursday has accused unnamed parties “hostile to Sudan” of funding the media campaign backing the popular protests.

Deadly protests have rocked Sudan since December 19, with demonstrators holding nationwide rallies calling on al-Bashir to resign.

The government said 31 people have died in the violence, while other credible reports including from Human Rights Watch says at least 51 people have been killed.

Speaking at a meeting of the Higher Coordination Committee to Follow-Up on the Implementation of the Dialogue Outcome on Thursday, the embattled President said leaders of the protests are unknown and don’t have real existing bodies to represent them.

He pointed out that his government has exerted unprecedented efforts to maintain security and stability in the country, accusing “enemies of Sudan” of funding a media campaign backing the demonstrators.

Al-Bashir added the recent declaration of an open-ended ceasefire at all war zones was driven by the government keenness to stop the bloodshed, saying some opposition forces have been motivated by the declaration to achieve peace in the country.

It is noteworthy that the ongoing popular protests are spearheaded by the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), an umbrella organization of shadow trade unions including doctors, university professors, pharmacists, journalists, school teachers and engineers.

Last month, the SPA and the opposition groups including the National Consensus Alliance, Sudan Call and the Unionist Gathering launched the Declaration of Freedom and Change which calls on al-Bashir to step down and the removal of his regime.

Despite government full control over local media outlets and newspapers, the protests’ supporters managed to mobilize the masses through an orchestrated social media campaign utilizing photographs and video footages taken by mobile phones.

Since the beginning of the protests last December, al-Bashir continued to denounce the protesters calling them agents, mercenaries and traitors.

However, in a meeting with the Chief-Editors of the newspapers last week, the embattled leader blamed the demonstrations on a controversial public order law and growing economic hardship.

(ST)

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