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Sudan’s opposition announces support for general strike

A poster released by activists on the Facebook, calling on Sudanese to participate in the general strike. It says remain at home on 19 December
December 14, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s internal opposition umbrella National Consensus Forces (NCF) has expressed full support for the December 19th civil disobedience action calling on its members to participate effectively in the general strike.

Sudanese activists have launched a wide electronic campaign to mobilize the Sudanese to engage in a civil disobedience action on December 19th to protest recent austerity measures.

Several opposition forces and armed groups expressed support for the general strike and called upon their affiliates to play an active role to ensure its success.

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune Wednesday, NCF urged the Sudanese to participate in the civil disobedience “because it is an honor and a duty for all those who want the good for themselves, their families and their country."

It called for escalating public mobilization and setting up resistance committees in the towns, villages and neighborhoods in the capital and the regions besides forming the alternative trade unions and establishing a unified leadership centre.

The NCF described President Omer al-Bashir’s recent speech about the civil disobedience as “irresponsible”, saying he explicitly recognized killing of the protesters during the September 2013 events.

In his address before a crowd in Sudan’s eastern city of Kassala on Monday, al-Bashir said the government wouldn’t be overthrown by the “WhatsApp”, pointing he wouldn’t hand over the country to the activists who oppose the government via the social media.

“You hear about those who use the keyboard and the WhatsApp to defeat you ..I won’t hand over the country to them, and I say to them: If you want to topple the regime, meet us on the streets, however, we are certain that you won’t take to the streets because you know what happened in the past,” he said.

In September 2013, over 200 people were killed according to rights groups in the spontaneous popular protests after the announcement of the first austerity plan.

The statement further renewed the call for overthrowing the regime, saying al-Bashir must step down because “he is morally incompetent and lacking political and popular legitimacy”.

It pointed to regional and international moves to save the regime, saying the alliance firmly rejects any attempts to reach a settlement that aims to disrupt the rising movement of the masses to overthrow the regime.

ARTISTS AND WRITERS SUPPORT GENERAL STRIKE

Meanwhile, a group of artists have announced support for the December 19th civil disobedience call.

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune Wednesday, 67 actors, actresses and directors said they stand by the Sudanese people to achieve security and justice.

Also, 50 Sudanese writers said they support the civil disobedience and the right of the Sudanese to reject the injustice and oppression methods carried out by the regime.
“We express full support for the choice of the Sudanese to engage in the December 19th civil disobedience” read a statement issued on Wednesday.

Sudan Tribune learnt that arrangements are underway to issue a statement signed by the supporters of the general strike among journalists and media workers.

(ST)