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29.05.2019 Sudan

Travellers stranded as Sudan strike enters second day

By AFP
Stranded passengers wait at Khartoum's main bus terminal where drivers and other staff overwhelmingly observed a strike called by protest leaders to raise the pressure on Sudan's ruling generals to step down.  By Ebrahim Hamid (AFP)
MAY 29, 2019 SUDAN
Stranded passengers wait at Khartoum's main bus terminal where drivers and other staff overwhelmingly observed a strike called by protest leaders to raise the pressure on Sudan's ruling generals to step down. By Ebrahim Hamid (AFP)

Hundreds of travellers remained stranded in the Sudanese capital Wednesday as bus terminal staff stopped work for a second day in support of protesters demanding the ruling generals step down.

In a bid to step up the pressure on the military council which took power after ousting longtime president Omar al-Bashir, the Alliance for Freedom and Change protest movement called for a two-day general strike starting on Tuesday.

Thousands of employees of government offices, banks, private sector firms and the docks of Port Sudan observed the strike on Tuesday, insisting that only civilian rule can lift Sudan out of its political crisis.

On Wednesday, the capital's airport began to return to normal after scores of staff stopped work on Tuesday. But the flights of Sudanese airlines Badr, Tarco and Nova remained suspended.

At the main bus terminal, stranded passengers were looking for private transport to reach their destinations as bus company staff reamined on strike.

"This is the second day I came to the bus terminal with my family and I am still unable to travel," said Mohamed al-Amin, who was trying to reach the eastern state of Kassala.

Khartoum's main bus terminal, which is normally bustling with travellers to Sudan's far-flung states, lies virtually empty as drivers and other staff go on strike.  By Ebrahim Hamid (AFP) Khartoum's main bus terminal, which is normally bustling with travellers to Sudan's far-flung states, lies virtually empty as drivers and other staff go on strike. By Ebrahim Hamid (AFP)

"Now I'm trying to hire a car with some other passengers."

Several newspapers were unable to bring out their editions because their printers were on strike.

"My newspaper is not on strike but we were unable to print the edition because the technicians were on strike," the owner of Al-Mjher newspaper, Al-Hindi Ezzeddine, tweeted.

Ahead of the two-day strike, protest leaders had said medics, lawyers, prosecutors, and staff from the electricity, water, public transport, telecommunications and civil aviation sectors were set to take part in the strike.

The army ousted Bashir in April after months of protests against his autocratic rule, including a sit-in by tens of thousands outside Khartoum's military headquarters.

But the generals, backed by key Arab powers, have resisted calls from African and Western governments to step down.

Thousands of protesters remain camped outside army HQ.

Before suspending talks last week, the two sides had agreed on many aspects of the political transition, inlduing its duration and the bodies that will overee it.

But negotiations broke down over the protesters demands that a planned new sovereign council to replace the current generals have a civilian head and a civilian majority.

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