November 1, 2022 (KHARTOUM) – A group of lawyers loyal to the dissolved National Congress Party (NCP) on Tuesday launched an attack with sticks and tear gas on the Sudanese Bar Association headquarters, in an attempt to seize it.
The attack follows a decision by the Appeals Committee of the Transitional Sovereign Council to reinstate a committee elected by the Islamist lawyers in 2018 and to annul the election of a steering committee that drafted a transitional constitution to end the current political crisis in Sudan.
The steering committee held a press conference to brief the public opinion about the decision of the Appeals Committee. But some Islamist members of the dissolved union flanked by other groups, attacked the lawyers with sticks and tear gas and destroyed some of the union’s properties.
Osman al-Zain, a Sudanese lawyer, told Sudan Tribune that the attack started after the end of the press conference.
“The dissolved National Congress Party is responsible for the attack on the union headquarters and use of forces to impose their lawyers,” al-Zain said.
For their part, the Emergency Lawyers, an independent group of lawyers defending the anti-coup protesters, appealed to “pro-democracy lawyers to gather at the lawyers’ headquarters immediately” to defend it and expel the Islamists.
Also, the Resistance Committees in the neighbourhoods close to lawyers’ premises (Al-Sahafa and Al-Dium) called, through social media, on their members to support the attacked lawyers to repel the “remnants of the ousted regime”.
As the attack was broadcast on social media, the police intervened late on Tuesday and put an end to the violent attack.
Speaking at a rally held last Saturday, the Islamist leaders pledged to intensify their actions to prevent a political settlement to the political crisis based on the constitutional text proposed by the Sudanese lawyers.
The Sudanese military component says favourable to the draft transitional constitution but opponents cast doubts on their real intentions.
Ali Qailoub, Head of the Bar Association Steering Committee, told the press conference that the appeals committee had not officially informed them of the decision, adding it no legal basis.
For his part, the Secretary-General of the Steering Committee, El-Tayeb al-Abbas, said the reinstatement of the disbanded committee aims to stop the efforts of the steering committee to end the protracted crisis.
Abbas said they have finalized preparations to hold elections after verification of the membership register to end previous manipulations.
He further questioned the legality of the Appeal Committee of the Sovereign Council, saying that its members are unknown and were not formed by the judicial authorities.
“Its decision was issued on a headed paper of the Sovereign Council.
The Trilateral Mechanism backed by the international committee is facilitating discussions between the military component and the Forces for Freedom and Change to restore a civilian-led transition. The whole process is based on the lawyers’ proposed transitional constitution.
The head of the dissolved Bar association, Osman Al-Sharif, on Tuesday, stated they would propose a new draft constitutional declaration in the coming weeks.
While the secretary general of the Islamist committee voiced their rejection of the draft transitional constitution prepared by the steering committee and accused foreign parties of being behind its provisions.