FILE - Sudanese demonstrators run from a teargas canister fired by riot policemen to disperse them as they participate in anti-government protests in Omdurman and Khartoum, Sudan, Jan. 20, 2019.
FILE - Sudanese demonstrators run from a teargas canister fired by riot policemen to disperse them as they participate in anti-government protests in Omdurman and Khartoum, Sudan, Jan. 20, 2019.

CAIRO, EGYPT - The Sudanese Trade Union Association and several opposition parties issued a call for a one-day general strike on Tuesday, excluding critical fields like pharmacies and hospitals. Witness reports in the capital Khartoum and its sister city Omdurman indicate the strike call was being observed by the overwhelming majority of the population.

Arab news channels broadcast amateur video of empty streets in Khartoum and neighboring Omdurman on Tuesday, indicating the large majority of people heeded the call for a one-day general strike by all but critical professions.

The Sudanese Trade Union Association, which is behind the strike call, noted in a tweet that the strike is a "step in the direction of an across-the-board civil disobedience campaign to paralyze the government."

Sky News Arabia said on its website that "activists report that streets in the capital Khartoum and Omdurman to the west are empty, as thousands of citizens heed the strike call."

FILE - Sudanese leading opposition figure Sadiq al-Mahdi meets his supporters after he returned from nearly a year in self-imposed exile in Khartoum, Sudan, Dec. 19, 2018.
Sudanese Opposition Party Leader Calls on Bashir to Step Down
Sudan's main opposition party leader Sadiq al-Mahdi on Saturday called on President Omar al-Bashir to step down and sit with the opposition to agree on details of a transitional process to end the nation's crisis, a statement from his party said.  "You can achieve a safe exit for the country which will be appreciated by the Sudanese people and history and will transform the deep polarization into national unity and international isolation into international cooperation," the  statement said.  The…

Former Prime Minister Sadeq al Mahdi, who was ousted by current President Omar al-Bashir in 1989, called on the embattled president to "step down," in a speech to supporters several days ago.

He says that the Sudanese people would like to reach a historic stepping stone and that it be peaceful, putting an end to bloodshed and achieving the legitimate demands of the people.

President Bashir, writing on his Facebook page Tuesday, insisted that "peace remains the essential principle of the state, given the over-riding belief that war is antithetical to development and stability."

He also told supporters in a televised speech that the government must address the needs of young people.

He says that we are doing our best to improve sports facilities for youth, renovating old facilities, and enlarging others in order to give them a place to channel their energies.

Sudanese protesters take part in an anti-government demonstration in Khartoum, Feb. 14, 2019. Deadly protests that erupted in Sudan Dec. 19 over the tripling of the price of bread have spread across the country and escalated into calls for President
Sudanese Protests Continue Despite President's Ban
Sudanese protesters are marching toward courthouses in different cities across the country, including in the capital of Khartoum.   It's the latest in two-and-a-half months of protests that call for the overthrow of autocratic President Omar al-Bashir.   Sunday's marches were called for by the Sudanese Professionals Association, an umbrella group of independent professional unions that has been spearheading the protests.   Al-Bashir has banned unauthorized public gatherings and granted sweeping powers…

Amid ongoing protests, some political leaders appear to be straddling the fence. Democratic Union Party head Ahmed Bilal Osman told supporters he opposes chaos.

He says that he is against a leap into the unknown and anything that creates more tension and polarization.

Rabiah Abdel Atti, a spokesman for the ruling General Congress Party, told al Hurra TV that President Bashir has indicated that he will not run for re-election in 2020 and that efforts should be made to reach a political consensus.

He says that a peaceful solution must eventually be found to the ongoing crisis and that many of the political parties and leaders that are calling for protests do not represent the Sudanese people and should not speak for them.

Democracy activist Akram Moukhtar, however, says that President Bashir "has a long history of not responding to the demands of the Sudanese people for liberty and democracy." He added that Bashir also "promised a number of years ago not to run for re-election and he still ran again."