Islamist groups have called for protests to take place in Khartoum on Friday, July 17, following a series of legal amendments repealing laws against apostasy and alcohol. Authorities closed all bridges in Khartoum on the evening of Thursday, July 16, and they are to remain closed until the end of Friday. An Islamist leader, Mohamed Ali Al-Jazouli, was arrested on Wednesday, July 15, after he called for members of the security forces to disobey the transitional government.
Peaceful sit-ins have also taken place throughout Sudan this week, most protesting against poor socio-economic conditions and demanding further reforms. While the largest sit-in in Nierteti (Jebel Marra) has been lifted, more are expected to take place throughout the country in the near term.
A heightened security presence is to be expected in Khartoum and at protest sites throughout Sudan. A disruption to transportation is likely in Khartoum while bridges are closed. Further protests in Khartoum and throughout Sudan are likely.
Sudan is currently in a three-year transition period under a joint civilian-military administration after the long-serving president Omar al-Bashir was ousted amid widespread anti-government protests in April 2019. However, pro-democracy groups under the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) coalition and the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) have continued to press for the expedited transfer to full civilian rule ahead of elections in 2022.
Those in Khartoum and over major cities are advised to monitor developments, minimise non-essential travel, and heed any directives issued by local authorities. All demonstrations and political gatherings in Sudan should be avoided due to the high risk of incidental violence and aggressive crowd-dispersal operations by security forces.
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