Sudan’s largest opposition bloc calls for al-Bashir to go

January 2, 2019
In this July 2, 2018 file photo, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir leaves the African Union summit, in Nouakchott, Mauritania. Sudan's president has ordered an investigation into "recent events" in the country, a reference to two weeks of violent protests against his 29-year rule. The country's state news agency, reported late on Monday, Dec. 31, 2018, that al-Bashir tasked Justice Minister Mohammed Ahmed Salem with leading the probe committee. The move likely reflects efforts by al-Bashir to placate popular anger over his autocratic rule and economic policies. (Ludovic Marin/Pool Photo via AP, File)

CAIRO (AP) — Sudan’s largest opposition bloc has joined calls by a wide array of political groups for President Omar al-Bashir to step down, turning up the pressure on the longtime autocrat after two weeks of street protests.

Nidaa al-Sudan, or Sudan’s Call, said in a statement Wednesday that it wanted al-Bashir and his administration to go and for a transition toward democracy to begin.

Nidaa al-Sudan comprises the Umma party of former Prime Minister Sadeq al-Mahdi and rebel groups in the western Kordofan and Darfur regions, and the Blue Nile region south of Khartoum.

Al-Bashir, who seized power in a 1989 military coup, has ordered the use of force against protesters who have taken to the streets since Dec. 19 to demand his ouster. Authorities also arrested nearly two dozen opposition leaders.

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