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Sudanese communists condemn US attempts to divide opposition

SUDANESE communists rejected calls for negotiations with President Omar al-Bashir’s government, warning against US attempts to divide the opposition as large protests continue to demand his resignation.

The Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) has played a leading role in the popular uprising against the government, insisting that Mr Bashir must step down and pave the way for democratic change.

They denounced the representative of the US administration for attempting to derail the revolution after he met with opposition parties, warning that they were planning a “soft-landing scheme” for the regime with the support of the international community.

“We in the Communist Party reject calls to include the outcome of the national dialogue as a reference to the transitional period. We also reject any appeal to the army to take over the power,” a statement read.

Authorities have clamped down on the growing expressions of anger in Sudan, firing live rounds at protesters and making scores of arrests, including five members of the SCP central committee.

Internet access has been restricted by the government and a number of prominent journalists have been detained, among them SCP member and columnist Kamal Karrar.

Mr Bashir has offered concessions to try to stave off demands for his resignation, including increased wages for public-sector workers and indications that he is prepared to offer healthcare and improved pensions.

Since coming to power in a 1989 coup, Mr Bashir’s rule has been marked by internal ethnic conflict and civil war. He has sought to blame the economic crisis on international sanctions.

However, Sudan’s debt of more than $50 billion (£39bn) and massive spending on military and security equipment has come as prices of basic goods continue to skyrocket.

Attempts to muster financial support from Arab allies, including sending 10,000 soldiers to fight with Saudi Arabian forces in Yemen, have failed to stabilise the economy. Some banks now restrict withdrawals to just $15 (about £12) a day.

As many as 40 people are believed to have been killed as the protests – co-ordinated by opposition parties and trade unions – have continued to grow.

Today saw security forces turn against protesters from teaching unions in the capital Khartoum as the third co-ordinated national demonstration drew large crowds.

Further arrests of opposition politicians were made, including SCP leaders.

“The regime’s excessive use of repression and arrests will not undermine the movement of the revolutionary masses and will not delay the revolution from achieving its goal and overthrowing the regime,” a party statement read.

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