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Spotlight on Africa

“No future in Sudan under Bashir” says opposition leader

Audio 08:01
Yasir Arman, deputy head of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N)  Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM).
Yasir Arman, deputy head of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM). Tayeb Khael for MCD

Sudan is on the verge of a new revolution, as protesters angry at President Bashir's 30-year rule, demand change. At least 51 people have been killed since 19 December when anti-government demonstrations began, according to rights groups. Opposition parties have urged the international community to investigate the killings.

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"Business as usual is not possible," says Yasir Arman, deputy head of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N).

Arman is leading a coalition of opposition parties called the Sudan Call alliance, that have joined doctors, lawyers, teachers and students in calling for President Omar al-Bashir to step down.

"We want the international community to support the basic demands of the Sudanese people," he told RFI, following meetings with British and French envoys to Sudan and South Sudan on Wednesday and Thursday.

Arman is hoping to raise Sudan's two-month old crisis at an upcoming meeting of the Human Rights Council on 25 February.

"We need an international investigation into the killings," he comments.

Officials say 30 people have died in the violence that was triggered on 19 December by a government decision to triple the price of bread. Rights groups put that figure to at least 51.

Hopes for third revolution

"We need them [the international community] to put pressure on Bashir to stop the killing. We need them to recognize the need for change in Sudan, and the right of Sudanese people to democracy and a peaceful transfer of power," he said.

Al-Bashir, who seized power in a 1989 military coup, has ordered the use of force against protesters, accusing them of trying to emulate the Arab Spring.

Sudan has had two successful revolutions so far. In 1964 and 1985, mass protests overthrew military dictatorships and installed civilian governments. 

Could these latest demonstrations--the most sustained challenge to al-Bashir's three-decade old rule--lead to a third revolution?

Opposition leader Arman says "there is no future in Sudan under Bashir."

To listen to his full interview, click on the play button in the photo or below.

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