Frustrated with the transitional government, the protesters gathered in front of the presidential palace in the capital Khartoum, demanding military control over the country.

The transitional period in the country is set to end with elections in early 2024.
The transitional period in the country is set to end with elections in early 2024. (Ashraf Shazly / AFP)

Thousands of pro-military demonstrators have gathered in front of the presidential palace in Khartoum, chanting "down with the government of hunger" as Sudan grapples with the biggest political crisis in its two-year transition.

The people are demanding the dissolution of the transitional government, saying it had failed them economically and politically.

Military and civilian groups have been sharing power in an uneasy alliance since the toppling of long-standing President Omar al Bashir in 2019.

The 53-month transitional period is set to end with elections in early 2024.

For weeks, tensions have escalated between the military and civilian components of the transitional authority as the former criticised the latter following a failed coup attempt in September.

READ MORE: Sudan blames Omar al Bashir's supporters for attempted coup

Military leaders have been demanding reforms to the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) coalition and to the civilian cabinet. Civilian leaders, however, have accused them of aiming for a power grab.

Saturday’s demonstrations were organised by a military-aligned faction of the FFC, a civilian alliance which spearheaded the anti-Bashir protests and became a key plank of the transition.

“We need a military government, the current government has failed to bring us justice and equality,” said Abboud Ahmed, a 50-year-old protester near the presidential palace in central Khartoum.

Pro-civilian groups have called for protests on Thursday.

Critics of Saturday’s protests alleged that the demonstrations were driven by members of the military and security forces, and involved sympathisers with the former regime.

READ MORE: Thousands rally in Sudan capital to demand civilian rule

'Dangerous crisis'

Protesters carried banners calling for the “dissolution of the government”, while others chanted “one army, one people” and “the army will bring us bread.”

“We are marching in a peaceful protest and we want a military government,” said housewife Enaam Mohamed in central Khartoum.

Khartoum State governor Ayman Khalid said in a statement that ahead of the demonstrations, members of an unidentified armed group removed security barriers around government buildings and prevented the police and security forces from going about their work.

On Friday, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok warned that the transition is facing “the worst and most dangerous” crisis.

Support for the transitional government has waned in recent months mainly following a tough raft of IMF-backed economic reforms.

It slashed subsidies on petrol and diesel and brought in a managed currency float, measures deemed by ordinary Sudanese as excessively harsh.

The government has also been beset by protests in east Sudan where demonstrators have blocked trade through a crucial Red Sea port since mid-September.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies