Leave our graffiti on the walls, say Sudan protesters

In this file photo taken on April 24, 2019, Sudanese protesters sit in front of a recently painted mural during a demonstration near the army headquarters in the capital Khartoum. -AFP

KHARTOUM - The graffiti that symbolized Sudan's uprising are being painted over across the capital Khartoum, protest leaders complained Wednesday, urging the military authorities to stop their whitewashing.

The Alliance for Freedom and Change that led the months-long protest movement that brought down longtime ruler Omar Al-Bashir said the "enemies of the revolution" had been systematically erasing murals.

"We see this as an ugly act and a pathetic attempt to suppress the beauty, the letter and the spirit of the revolution," it said a statement.

In recent days some of the colorful murals and slogans that appeared on the walls of the capital during the early stages of the protest that ousted Omar Al-Bashir were painted over.

Together with music, these murals had become a symbol of the popular nature of an uprising that was led by young activists rather than engineered by political opposition.

Most of the murals and graffiti could be found on walls outside of the army headquarters in Khartoum, where protesters camped out for weeks on end.

"This is an absurd measure and shows the inability of the enemies of the revolution to recognize its roots and its realization in people's hearts," the statement said.

It called on graffiti artists to "continue painting murals and exercise all their freedom of expression rights."

A mass protest this spring led to the ouster of Omar Al-Bashir, an Islamist general who had ruled Sudan since 1989.

Continued mobilization and a deadly crackdown on a sit-in on June 3 led to a phase of negotiations that yielded a transition agreement to be officially signed on Saturday.

The deal agreed by Sudan's generals and protest leaders provides for a power-sharing period of 39 months meant to pave the way for elections and civilian rule.

Some members of the protest camp however were displeased with an agreement they fear could allow those forces accused of brutal repression during the uprising to maintain their grip on power. -AFP