Egypt has offered to provide the Sudanese government with workers to counter a campaign of nationwide civil disobedience aimed at pressuring the ruling military council into handing over power.
Sources in the Egyptian foreign ministry told The New Arab‘s Arabic-language service on Monday that Cairo was prepared to supply the “necessary manpower” to the military council.
“This is a serious offer and could be implemented especially in the civil aviation and electricity sectors,” the sources said.
The report comes on the second day of the opposition’s general strike, with the majority of shops and businesses closed in the capital, Khartoum.
According to the protest leaders, participation in the strike on the first day exceeded their hopes. They vowed to continue their “peaceful resistance” until the military council is toppled.
The Sudanese Professionals Association, an umbrella of unions which has been spearheading the protests against long-time leader Omar al-Bashir since last December, posted videos and photos on social media it said were of deserted streets and closed shops and businesses.
Last week, troops violently broke up opposition sit-ins, killing over a hundred people, including more than 40 victims whose bodies were later pulled out of the Nile River in Khartoum.
The deadly crackdown came after the head of the military council visited Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE – regional allies run by governments firmly against popular uprisings.
Sudan’s generals, backed by the Egyptian-Gulf alliance, have resisted calls from African and Western governments to hand over the reins of power.
Multiple rounds of talks between the generals and protest leaders have broken down over whether a planned transitional body would be headed by a civilian or a military figure.