On Key Day of Protest for Sudan, U.S. Warns Generals Against Violence

Pro-democracy groups have rejected the possibility of recognizing or negotiating with a military government, instead demanding that all civilian leaders, including Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who is now under house arrest, be released. The U.N. envoy, Mr. Perthes, said in a statement that he was in contact with all sides and was trying to mediate “toward a peaceful solution to the current crisis.”

Tensions over the possibility of a coup had been brewing for months, as civilian groups accused the military of wanting to cling to power and resisting efforts to hold commanders accountable for atrocities under Mr. al-Bashir, the ousted dictator.

In Khartoum and the neighboring city of Omdurman, protesters carrying Sudanese flags gathered at noon in neighborhoods before marching to major streets and bus stations. Many could be heard chanting, “The people are stronger and the revolution will continue.” Others carried banners reading, “No to military rule.”

In El Fasher, a town in the North Darfur region in northwestern Sudan, the army closed the market and sent people home, according to an aid official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to minimize any potential risk to his organization’s operations.

The cities of Geneina in West Darfur and Gedaref in the east also had a heavy military and police presence, the official said. In some cities, military officers cleared blockades of bricks, slabs and tree branches that protesters had placed across roads to stop them from gaining access to neighborhoods.

On Saturday, protests took place not only in Sudan but in cities around the world with substantial Sudanese populations. Demonstrators against the coup were on the streets in Australia, Indonesia, Lebanon and Italy.

“We have been in shock about what’s been happening in Sudan,” Elhussein Yasin, a board member of the Sudanese Diaspora Roundtable in Britain, said by telephone. He said protests were being organized in London, Birmingham, Cardiff and other cities, and that demonstrators would urge British lawmakers to press the Sudanese generals to give up power.

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