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Sudan’s opposition takes advantage of criminal gangs to stage successful strike: TMC

June 9, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC) on Sunday said the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) take advantage of attacks by criminal gangs to ensure the success of the general strike.

The claim was made by the head of the TMC security committee, Maj-Gen Gamal Omer who issued a statement at the end of the first day of the open-ended general strike on Sunday evening.

"The method of closing roads and building barricades practised by the FFC is contrary to law, customs and religion and violates the limits of the exercise of political action," Gamal said.

The FFC used the events of June 3 as a pretext to escalate against the military council and against the citizens" when the suspended the negotiations and declared the general strike, he further said.

"Also, they took advantage of (attacks by) the Naikkers gangs and outlaws to force the citizens to stay in their homes to make the civil disobedience successful," the military official stressed.

The statement was considered as the first tacit acknowledgement by the military junta of the success of the first day of the strike which paralyzed the capital and different part of the country. Activists say that over 90% of the capital population followed the protest in support of power handover to civilians.

He added that the roadblocks prevent the security forces from patrolling the streets and encourage organised gangs to attack the police departments in order to capture weapons for looting.

The TMC security official went further to say this organised groups "are now seeking to obtain weapons and transfer their battles against the armed forces and the Rapid Support Forces into the capital and major cities".

He was referring to the rebel groups which all declared its support to the Sudanese revolution.
The government of former President Omer al-Bashir used this argument to dissuade people from protesting against the regime.

Gamal said that despite negotiations the FFC continued in a "deliberate and exclusionary way" to raise the ceiling of its demands and exert pressures like closing the roads and bridges, in a way that led to the deterioration in the security situation.

He said that the FFC officials were informed of the security operation in Colombia area which is not far from the sit-in.

However, the military official did not speak about the attack on the main site of protest that took place two days later and where over a hundred people killed.