Sudan‘s ruling military has accused the protest movement of escalation as the second day of the opposition’s general strike kicked in.

Opposition and protest groups had called on workers to stay home after security forces stormed a protest camp on June 3, killing dozens and dealing a blow to hopes of a peaceful transition after the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir in April.

Lieutenant General Jamaleddine Omar, from the ruling military council, said on Monday that by closing off roads and setting up barricades, the protesters committed a crime.

He said the military and the Rapid Support Forces – the paramilitary group accused of violently dispersing the weeks-long protest camp last week – have beefed up their presence across the country “to restore life back to normal”.

Meanwhile, protest leaders urged the Sudanese people to continue the general strike, part of a civil disobedience campaign launched on Sunday. It comes after weeks of protests to pressure the ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) to hand power over to a civilian-led government.

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