Sudan’s Protesters Call Off Strike and Agree to Resume Talks With Military

Sudan’s Protesters Call Off Strike and Agree to Resume Talks With Military

Leaders of the Sudanese Professionals Association, the main protest group, said they were encouraging workers to return to work on Wednesday to allow low-wage workers to earn a living again.

They cautioned that people should be ready to strike again if the military reneged.

The military council has not yet offered a response to the ending of the strike and the agreement to resume talks.

Protest leaders presented the three-day strike as a show of strength, as they shifted the center of gravity of their movement from downtown Khartoum to the suburbs, where youths erected makeshift barricades on suburban streets.

On the first day of the strike, at least four people died in clashes with the Rapid Support Forces, whose troops are stationed along main roads and under bridges across the city, imposing a tight grip that has left many residents anxious.

Magdi el-Gizouli, a Sudan expert at the Rift Valley Institute, said the strike’s abrupt end highlighted the weakness of the protest movement. “They called for a strike unprepared and now called it off without adequate guarantees,” he said. “Public employees who have joined the strike will probably be punished aggressively.”

The Support Forces grew out of the janjaweed militias that were accused of atrocities in the western region of Darfur in the 2000s, leading to Mr. al-Bashir’s indictment on charges of genocide and war crimes at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. The violence in Darfur continues today, according to rights groups.

On Tuesday, Amnesty International said in a statement that the Sudanese security forces, including the Support forces, continued to commit “war crimes and other serious human rights violations” in Darfur.

Human Rights Watch said that the Support Forces have taken over nine of 10 bases vacated by the United Nations peacekeeping force in Darfur, which is preparing to wind down by June 2020. The group called on the Security Council, which is scheduled to vote later this month on the future of the Darfur mission, to extend its mandate.

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