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Thousands of Islamists renew protests against UN in Sudan

By AFP - Nov 12,2022 - Last updated at Nov 12,2022

Sudanese protest against the United Nations mediation between Sudan's civilian and army leaders, outside the UN headquarters in Khartoum's Manshiya district on Saturday (AFP photo)

KHARTOUM — Thousands of Islamists gathered on Saturday for the second time in two weeks to protest "interference" by the United Nations mission in Sudan, an AFP journalist reported.

The demonstrators have objected to UN efforts to mediate between the country's military and civilian leaders following last year's coup staged by army leader Abdel Fattah Al Burhan.

Saturday's demonstrators also expressed anger at a transitional constitution proposed by the Sudanese Bar Association, calling for a civilian government to pull the country out of its current political crisis.

The proposed constitution would impose a ban on activity by the National Congress Party, the Islamist movement of former dictator Omar Al Bashir.

"We protest against foreign interference in our country," demonstrator Ahmed Abderrahman told AFP. "We will not accept the secular constitution of the Sudanese Bar Association."

He was surrounded by other protesters holding placards reading "No to foreign interference" and "Volker out", in reference to the UN's Khartoum envoy Volker Perthes.

Recent protests have also pitted the Islamists — who had backed Bashir prior to his ouster in 2019 — against coup leader Burhan.

The army chief last week warned the Islamists to steer clear of the military, saying: "The army does not belong to any party."

His warning came a week after some 3,000 Islamists staged a similar march in front of the UN headquarters.

It comes despite repeated accusations from civilian factions that the army was colluding with the Islamists, pointing to the recent reappointment of Islamist figures in positions of power.

Sudan has been mired in a political and economic crisis since last year's coup. Security forces have cracked down on near-weekly protests, resulting in at least 119 deaths, according to pro-democracy medics.

Civilian leaders have refused to negotiate with the military until it commits to a timetable for full withdrawal from power.

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