(CNN)Up until a week ago, people in Sudan were required a permit to play music late at night — an indication of just how tightly President Omar al-Bashir held the country in his iron grip.

Now, as the nation grapples with the end of his 30-year dictatorship, music has become a defining part of the protest movement, with singing and dancing continuing around the clock. The tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered in front of the military headquarters in the capital Khartoum aren’t heading home anytime soon, vowing to remain in the streets until civilian rule is guaranteed.Indeed when soldiers from Sudan’s interim military council stood on the building’s steps on Monday morning to tell protesters it was time to “clean up” and go home, the crowd replied with the chant: “You clean up the Islamists! We’ll clean up when we’re done!” Lt. Gen. Omar Zain al-Abdin, head of the new Sudanese military council's political committee, addresses journalists in Khartoum on Friday, April 12, one day after Sudan's army ousted the Arab-African country's longtime President, Omar al-Bashir.Lt. Gen. Omar Zain al-Abdin, head of the new Sudanese military council's political committee, addresses journalists in Khartoum on Friday, April 12, one day after Sudan's army ousted the Arab-African country's longtime President, Omar al-Bashir. Photos: In pictures: Military coup in SudanLt. Gen. Omar Zain al-Abdin, head of the new Sudanese military council’s political committee, addresses journalists in Khartoum on Friday, April 12, one day after Sudan’s army ousted the Arab-African country’s longtime President, Omar al-Bashir.Hide Caption 1 of 27Sudanese protesters gather on April 12 near the military headquarters in Khartoum as they continue to rally, demanding a civilian body to lead the transition from the ousted Bashir to the country's next democratic leadership.Sudanese protesters gather on April 12 near the military headquarters in Khartoum as they continue to rally, demanding a civilian body to lead the transition from the ousted Bashir to the country's next democratic leadership. Photos: In pictures: Military coup in SudanSudanese protesters gather on April 12 near the military headquarters in Khartoum as they continue to rally, demanding a civilian body to lead the transition from the ousted Bashir to the country’s next democratic leadership.Hide Caption 2 of 27Demonstrators shout slogans on April 12 as they gather outside the Defense Ministry in a sit-in protest to demand the formation of a civilian government after the military took power.Demonstrators shout slogans on April 12 as they gather outside the Defense Ministry in a sit-in protest to demand the formation of a civilian government after the military took power. Photos: In pictures: Military coup in SudanDemonstrators shout slogans on April 12 as they gather outside the Defense Ministry in a sit-in protest to demand the formation of a civilian government after the military took power.Hide Caption 3 of 27Sudanese demonstrators cheer on Thursday, April 11, as they drive toward a military vehicle after Defense Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf's announcement that Bashir had been detained "in a safe place." He also said a military council would run the country during a two-year transition.Sudanese demonstrators cheer on Thursday, April 11, as they drive toward a military vehicle after Defense Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf's announcement that Bashir had been detained "in a safe place." He also said a military council would run the country during a two-year transition. Photos: In pictures: Military coup in SudanSudanese demonstrators cheer on Thursday, April 11, as they drive toward a military vehicle after Defense Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf’s announcement that Bashir had been detained “in a safe place.” He also said a military council would run the country during a two-year transition.Hide Caption 4 of 27A protester kisses a soldier on the head on April 11 during a rally in Khartoum.A protester kisses a soldier on the head on April 11 during a rally in Khartoum. Photos: In pictures: Military coup in SudanA protester kisses a soldier on the head on April 11 during a rally in Khartoum.Hide Caption 5 of 27Protesters cheer on April 11 outside the Defense Ministry in Khartoum. They were demanding that Bashir step down.Protesters cheer on April 11 outside the Defense Ministry in Khartoum. They were demanding that Bashir step down. Photos: In pictures: Military coup in SudanProtesters cheer on April 11 outside the Defense Ministry in Khartoum. They were demanding that Bashir step down.Hide Caption 6 of 27Sudan's defense minister on April 11 on television to say Bashir's government has been dissolved. He also says a military council has assumed control for two years to oversee a transition of power.Sudan's defense minister on April 11 on television to say Bashir's government has been dissolved. He also says a military council has assumed control for two years to oversee a transition of power. Photos: In pictures: Military coup in SudanSudan’s defense minister on April 11 on television to say Bashir’s government has been dissolved. He also says a military council has assumed control for two years to oversee a transition of power.Hide Caption 7 of 27Anti-regime demonstrators stand on a military vehicle on April 11 as they cheer and flash the sign of victory near the army's headquarters.Anti-regime demonstrators stand on a military vehicle on April 11 as they cheer and flash the sign of victory near the army's headquarters. Photos: In pictures: Military coup in SudanAnti-regime demonstrators stand on a military vehicle on April 11 as they cheer and flash the sign of victory near the army’s headquarters.Hide Caption 8 of 27A billboard in Khartoum bears an image of Alaa Salah, a Sudanese woman who has become the face of the anti-government demonstrations.A billboard in Khartoum bears an image of Alaa Salah, a Sudanese woman who has become the face of the anti-government demonstrations. Photos: In pictures: Military coup in SudanA billboard in Khartoum bears an image of Alaa Salah, a Sudanese woman who has become the face of the anti-government demonstrations.Hide Caption 9 of 27Demonstrators block the vehicle of a military officer on April 11.Demonstrators block the vehicle of a military officer on April 11. Photos: In pictures: Military coup in SudanDemonstrators block the vehicle of a military officer on April 11.Hide Caption 10 of 27Demonstrators chant slogans as they gather in a street in central Khartoum.Demonstrators chant slogans as they gather in a street in central Khartoum. Photos: In pictures: Military coup in SudanDemonstrators chant slogans as they gather in a street in central Khartoum.Hide Caption 11 of 27Demonstrators in Khartoum demand Bashir's removal on Wednesday, April 10.Demonstrators in Khartoum demand Bashir's removal on Wednesday, April 10. Photos: In pictures: Military coup in SudanDemonstrators in Khartoum demand Bashir’s removal on Wednesday, April 10.Hide Caption 12 of 27Salah, the woman <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/10/middleeast/sudan-woman-iconic-photo-revolution-intl/index.html" target="_blank">propelled to internet fame</a> after clips of her leading protest chants went viral, addresses protesters on April 10 in front of the military headquarters in Khartoum.Salah, the woman <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/10/middleeast/sudan-woman-iconic-photo-revolution-intl/index.html" target="_blank">propelled to internet fame</a> after clips of her leading protest chants went viral, addresses protesters on April 10 in front of the military headquarters in Khartoum. Photos: In pictures: Military coup in SudanSalah, the woman propelled to internet fame after clips of her leading protest chants went viral, addresses protesters on April 10 in front of the military headquarters in Khartoum.Hide Caption 13 of 27Protesters salute a military vehicle on Tuesday, April 9, in Khartoum.Protesters salute a military vehicle on Tuesday, April 9, in Khartoum. Photos: In pictures: Military coup in SudanProtesters salute a military vehicle on Tuesday, April 9, in Khartoum.Hide Caption 14 of 27Sudanese soldiers transport a body near the military headquarters on April 9. The Central Committee of Sudan Doctors said 22 people, including five soldiers, had been killed in mass protests.Sudanese soldiers transport a body near the military headquarters on April 9. The Central Committee of Sudan Doctors said 22 people, including five soldiers, had been killed in mass protests. Photos: In pictures: Military coup in SudanSudanese soldiers transport a body near the military headquarters on April 9. The Central Committee of Sudan Doctors said 22 people, including five soldiers, had been killed in mass protests.Hide Caption 15 of 27A person writes "Down with Bashir" during an April 9 demonstration in Khartoum.A person writes "Down with Bashir" during an April 9 demonstration in Khartoum. Photos: In pictures: Military coup in SudanA person writes “Down with Bashir” during an April 9 demonstration in Khartoum.Hide Caption 16 of 27People protest on Monday, April 8, in front of the military headquarters in Khartoum.People protest on Monday, April 8, in front of the military headquarters in Khartoum. Photos: In pictures: Military coup in SudanPeople protest on Monday, April 8, in front of the military headquarters in Khartoum.Hide Caption 17 of 27A protester shows bullet cartridges during an April 8 demonstration.A protester shows bullet cartridges during an April 8 demonstration. Photos: In pictures: Military coup in SudanA protester shows bullet cartridges during an April 8 demonstration.Hide Caption 18 of 27Protesters sit atop a military vehicle on Sunday, April 7, as soldiers stand nearby.Protesters sit atop a military vehicle on Sunday, April 7, as soldiers stand nearby. Photos: In pictures: Military coup in SudanProtesters sit atop a military vehicle on Sunday, April 7, as soldiers stand nearby.Hide Caption 19 of 27Demonstrators pray  on April 7 outside the military headquarters.Demonstrators pray  on April 7 outside the military headquarters. Photos: In pictures: Military coup in SudanDemonstrators pray on April 7 outside the military headquarters.Hide Caption 20 of 27Protesters gather on April 7 for a rally in Khartoum.Protesters gather on April 7 for a rally in Khartoum. Photos: In pictures: Military coup in SudanProtesters gather on April 7 for a rally in Khartoum.Hide Caption 21 of 27A demonstrator waves the national flag on April 7.A demonstrator waves the national flag on April 7. Photos: In pictures: Military coup in SudanA demonstrator waves the national flag on April 7.Hide Caption 22 of 27Protesters run for cover on Saturday, April 6, as tear gas canisters are fired by police.Protesters run for cover on Saturday, April 6, as tear gas canisters are fired by police. Photos: In pictures: Military coup in SudanProtesters run for cover on Saturday, April 6, as tear gas canisters are fired by police.Hide Caption 23 of 27A protester retreats from tear gas during an anti-government demonstration on Sunday, February 24, in Khartoum's Burri district.A protester retreats from tear gas during an anti-government demonstration on Sunday, February 24, in Khartoum's Burri district. Photos: In pictures: Military coup in SudanA protester retreats from tear gas during an anti-government demonstration on Sunday, February 24, in Khartoum’s Burri district.Hide Caption 24 of 27A protester carries a Bashir portrait on Friday, February 8. It reads, "Down and that is all."A protester carries a Bashir portrait on Friday, February 8. It reads, "Down and that is all." Photos: In pictures: Military coup in SudanA protester carries a Bashir portrait on Friday, February 8. It reads, “Down and that is all.”Hide Caption 25 of 27People take part in an anti-government demonstration on Tuesday, January 29, in Omdurman, Sudan.People take part in an anti-government demonstration on Tuesday, January 29, in Omdurman, Sudan. Photos: In pictures: Military coup in SudanPeople take part in an anti-government demonstration on Tuesday, January 29, in Omdurman, Sudan.Hide Caption 26 of 27A protester is seen in the midst of tear gas during clashes in December 2018 with security forces in Khartoum.A protester is seen in the midst of tear gas during clashes in December 2018 with security forces in Khartoum. Photos: In pictures: Military coup in SudanA protester is seen in the midst of tear gas during clashes in December 2018 with security forces in Khartoum.Hide Caption 27 of 2701 sudan General Omar Zain al-Abdin 041102 sudan protest 041201 sudan protest 0412 RESTRICTEDSudan gallery 2904 sudan rally 041103 sudan protest 041101 sudan military statement 041105 sudan rally 041106 sudan rally 041103 sudan coup 041107 sudan rally 0411Sudan gallery 11Sudan gallery 05Sudan gallery 02Sudan gallery 22Sudan gallery 1602 sudan demonstration 040801 sudan demonstration 040803 sudan demonstration 040701 sudan demonstration 0407Sudan gallery 03Sudan gallery 08Sudan gallery 2401 Sudan anti-government demonstration FILE02 Sudan anti-government demonstration FILESudan gallery 09Sudan gallery 15A party with a purpose Read MoreWalk among the mostly young protesters and you’ll find a highly organized party atmosphere, with demonstrators working in shifts to ensure the DJ’s sound system is never silent for long.Free sandwiches and water are handed out to the crowd. Young men and women hold donation boxes for passing drivers to contribute to the cause.As Ramadan approaches, some local NGOs have put the call out for professional cooks to donate their time helping prepare provisions to enable protesters to break their fast while continuing to demonstrate.Demonstrators play music in Khartoum.Demonstrators play music in Khartoum.Demonstrators play music in Khartoum.Some female protesters are already beginning to drop their headscarves, something previously unthinkable for many in conservative Sudan. Women who would previously be flogged simply for walking with a man they weren’t related to, are now standing side-by-side with male protesters late into the evening.But the atmosphere remains respectful. Just to enter the demonstration we must pass through security where young people happily chant their instructions: “Lift your hands up, we’re going to search you, but we’re going to search you nicely.”Horror stories and hope The ongoing demonstration comes as the transnational military council continues to arrest former regime officials. Among them are Bashir, his former interior minister Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein, and former head of the ruling party Ahmed Haroun, who will all be charged with corruption and the death of protesters, two sources with direct knowledge of the events told CNN.The three men are all wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes related to atrocities in Darfur.Sudanese protesters celebrate on April 13.Sudanese protesters celebrate on April 13.Sudanese protesters celebrate on April 13.With Bashir’s government now dissolved, a military council has assumed control for two years to oversee a transition of power. But amid the celebratory demonstrations, there have also been outbreaks of gunfire between the remnants of the old regime and the new military caretakers.Fueling the persistence of the protesters is the example of the 2011 Arab uprising which promised so much — and in the case of neighboring Egypt, delivered a dictatorship likely worse than the one it ousted. I was 11 when Omar al-Bashir came to power. Terror is all his people have ever knownI was 11 when Omar al-Bashir came to power. Terror is all his people have ever knownI was 11 when Omar al-Bashir came to power. Terror is all his people have ever knownAlmost every protester we spoke to said they had at some point been detained during the demonstrations. One young man, Taha Alhadi, told CNN he had been arrested three times, repeatedly beaten with a rubber hose, and held in the “Refrigerator,” one of the torture and detention “ghost houses” whose existence was denied by Bashir’s regime.For a generation who have only ever known Bashir’s rule, music has become a source of strength and a call for unity on the uncertain path towards democracy.Young men previously recruited into the national defense service have repurposed the Islamist songs they were forced to sing into protest chants.”Running is ugly! The brave walk on fire! The brave walk through coal!” they chant at the top of their lungs.The words are same. But this time around, the message is very different.

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https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/15/africa/sudan-protest-music-nima-elbagir-intl/index.html

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