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Khartoum streets deserted as defiant protesters continue general strike

12 June 2019

Unconfirmed reports suggest that a 15-member ruling council has been proposed for the transitional period, made up eight civilians and seven military officials.

"The Military Council has chose to reinforce the presence of armed forces, RSF and other regular forces to help normal life return", the council member said, including the feared Rapid Support Forces, blamed by witnesses for the killings last week as a sit-in protest outside army headquarters was cleared.

The source gave no further details.

Day two saw a sweeping nationwide internet blackout which rocked the country for several hours, after internet lines from the main provider Sudatel stopped working.

Protest organisers said the campaign would run until the generals handed power to a civilian government.

But pro-democracy campaigners say the military council can not be trusted after Monday's crackdown against a sit-in demonstration in Khartoum - and they have rejected an offer of talks.

The Trump administration is sending its top diplomat for Africa to Sudan amid mounting global concern over the bloody crackdown on pro-democracy activists by the country's ruling military council.

Arman said on Twitter he had been deported by military helicopter and has also claimed the three of them were tied up during the flight. Various powers, including Russian Federation and the Gulf Arab states, are trying to influence its path. The Sudanese protesters who succeeded in driving President Omar al-Bashir from power last month say their revolution won't be complete until they have dismantled what many describe as an Islamist-dominated "deep state" that underpinned his 30-year rule.

The two others, SPLM-N secretary-general Ismail Jallab and spokesman Mubarak Ardol, were arrested after meeting the visiting Ethiopian Prime Minister as he tried to mediate between the military council and civilian opposition.

"This shows clearly what we can do, and also in a peaceful way", said Ishraga Mohamed.

The council could not be reached for comment.

Vehicles carrying heavily armed units of the feared Rapid Support Forces (RSF) loyal to the military council patrolled Khartoum.

"That is not in keeping with our existing agreement with the Sudanese government and our insistence that the facilities be used exclusively for civilian purposes", she said.

Sudanese women rights defender Nahed Jabrallah told DW Arabic last week that she witnessed the RSF threatening to rape both women and men during the assault.

Military and paramilitary forces had unleashed mayhem on pro-democracy protesters last week, leaving over 100 people dead. The government has confirmed 61 deaths, including three members of the security services.

Arman's SPLM-North is the political wing of a rebel movement that has fought against Sudanese security forces in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states for much of the last decade.

The DFCF alliance has tried to sustain the protest movement through a civil disobedience campaign that largely shut down Khartoum on Sunday.

The opposition Alliance for Freedom and Change issued a statement urging people to return to work on Wednesday.

On Monday, there was a little more movement on the streets and some shops had begun to reopen, including in Khartoum's central market, but many stores and businesses remained closed.

Khartoum streets deserted as defiant protesters continue general strike