Police in Khartoum used tear gas on Monday to disperse large crowds that had gathered outside government offices to demand a quicker pace of reforms. The protests came a year after generals who had ousted dictator Omar al-Bashir agreed to share power with civilians during a transition to what the army officers had promised would be democracy. Protest leaders said they were angry because their request to meet with transitional Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok had been turned down, with an emissary being sent in his place. They were demanding the formation of a legislature that had been promised as part of the power-sharing agreement, as well as civilian control of some economic sectors still managed by the military. Hamdok issued a statement in which he urged patience, saying: “The state apparatus needs to be rebuilt, the legacy of [Bashir] needs to be dismantled and the civil service needs to be modernized and developed to become unbiased between citizens, as well as effective.” The protest leaders said they would be watching and promised to continue demonstrating if their demands were not met.
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