Large demonstrations have been reported in Khartoum on Sunday, April 7, after the Sudanese Professionals Association and associated anti-government groups called for a nationwide general strike. Thousands of people have reportedly gathered outside the General Directorate of the Armed Forces, while demonstrators have also blocked a bridge linking Khartoum with Khartoum North. The latest demonstrations come as thousands rallied until approximately 02:00 (local time) on Sunday amid calls to hold a sit-in outside the presidential compound until President Omar al-Bashir resigns.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Electricity and Water stated the country was experiencing a nationwide power blackout on Sunday afternoon. No further information regarding the outage was immediately provided.
Heightened security measures and associated transportation disruptions are to be expected nationwide, notably in Khartoum, Khartoum North, and Omdurman, in the vicinity of any demonstration sites over the coming hours and days. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
Anti-government protests began on December 19, 2018, as hundreds of protesters gathered in major urban centers - notably Atbara (River Nile state), Al-Qadarif (Al-Qadarif state), Port Sudan (Red Sea state), Khartoum, and Al-Fashir and Nyala in the Darfur region. Protesters initially demanded increased government transparency and economic reforms but have since broadened their scope to demand the resignation of President Omar al-Bashir, who has been in power since 1989 and has vowed not to step down until at least 2020.
President Omar al-Bashir declared a one-year state of emergency on February 22, dissolved the cabinet, and dismissed all state governors; the length of the state of emergency was subsequently reduced to six months by parliamentary vote, and is expected to remain in effect until August 2019. Bashir also banned all unauthorized rallies and gatherings on February 25, following weeks of anti-government protests. Opposition leaders have defied the declaration and have called on supporters to continue protesting.
Individuals in Sudan are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all protests and public gatherings due to the risk of violence and arrest, anticipate disruptions to transportation and business near demonstration sites, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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