Khartoum — Thousands of Sudanese took to the streets of Khartoum and all major cities across the country on Friday to commemorate the 58th anniversary of the 1964 ‘October Revolution’ that overthrew the junta of Maj Gen Ibrahim Abboud to usher in general elections the next year.
Authorities pre-empted the anniversary demos by closing the Mak Nimir bridge, as well as inspecting other bridges in order to halt processionary routes headed to Khartoum.
Similar processions were also launched in cities across Sudan’s states, including Wad Madani, Atbara, Singa, Kosti, Nyala, El Fasher and Zalingei in Darfur, as well as Kassala and Gedaref in eastern Sudan.
Former Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok considered the 1964 October Revolution “a qualitative starting point in the field of the Sudanese popular revolutions”.
United Nations human rights commissioner
With the upcoming protests planned for October 25, marking one year since the coup began, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) have called on the Sudanese authorities to refrain from the use of force and ensure that people “exercise their rights to peaceful assembly, freedom of opinion, and expression”.
OHCHR reiterated that the rule of law be respected, pointing to the right to peaceful assembly, which is “protected under international human rights law, including under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Sudan is a State Party”.
The UN office also proposed that any current investigations into human rights abuses perpetrated in the wake of the coup, “are expedited and conducted in full compliance with international norms and standards”. The organisation emphasised the need for those in Sudan to witness justice, and for all those found responsible of human rights violations are tried and held to account.
The African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) also expressed similar sentiments, urging the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to “address the crackdown on peaceful demonstrators and ongoing violations of human rights in Sudan”.