Protesters have erected barricades across roads in Sudan’s capital Khartoum and some shops and offices were shut as a two-day general strike and civil disobedience campaign began in response to demonstrators’ deaths.
Neighbourhood resistance committees and political parties called the strike starting on Tuesday after seven people were killed in Khartoum on Monday in one of the deadliest days to date in a series of demonstrations against a military takeover on October 25.
Protesters are demanding the military, which had been sharing power with civilian groups before the coup, quit politics completely.
“It is our duty to resist them until we are victorious or they rule an empty country after they have killed us all,” the Khartoum State resistance committees said in a statement.
Police confirmed the seven deaths on Tuesday, saying they used minimum force and had faced “systematic aggression”. Military leader General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan promised an investigation.
At least 70 people have been killed and more than 2,000 injured by security forces since the coup, according to medics aligned with the protest movement.
“Shop closed for mourning,” said a series of small signs posted on the closed outlets at the sprawling Sajane construction supplies market in Khartoum. One of the merchants, Othman el-Sherif, was among those shot dead on Monday.
Sudan’s University for Science and Technology suspended all activities as part of the civil disobedience, according to an official statement.
In several other parts of Khartoum, too, many pharmacies and other shops were shuttered.
Stone and brick barricades impeded access to some major roads in eastern and southern Khartoum, and the adjoining cities of Bahri and Omdurman. Protesters set fire to car tyres in some places and traffic was lighter than usual.
Groups representing doctors, teachers, engineers, and pilots announced support for the strike, as did resistance committees outside the capital, aiming to pressure authorities by cutting off state revenues and bringing life to a standstill.