A fortnight after Sudan’s turbulent transition to democracy was hijacked by a military coup, the streets of the capital, Khartoum, remain clogged with makeshift barricades.
In most places, the bricks and burnt tyres have now been pulled back to allow traffic to pass – as neighbourhoods wait to see if tense, behind-the-scenes political negotiations can unravel the coup.
But there is a widespread belief here that the roadblocks, the protests, and the army’s violent response, could flare up at any moment.
“There is no way out but dialogue and negotiation,” said Suleima Elkhalifa, who headed a unit in the transitional government tasked with protecting women and children from violence.
“But people are more determined now. And more politically aware. After 30 years of military dictatorship, we will not submit. The youth represent more than 50% of this country and it’s clear we don’t want this government. They cannot kill us all. They cannot kill this dream,” she said.
‘The military are like animals’
There appears to be broad support for Abdalla Hamdok, the transitional prime minister who was detained by the military during the coup and remains under a form of house arrest.
“Hamdok proved to be a man of his word – that’s why people trust him [despite economic hardship],” said Ms Elkhalifa. “We hope that Egypt, the Saudis, and others change their minds,” she added, referring to countries widely believed to be supportive of the coup.
In Khartoum’s private Royal Care hospital, victims of the military clampdown that followed the coup shared the same determination.
Muhayed Faisal, an 18-year-old student, was shot twice in the leg during a recent protest.