Protesters return to streets of major Sudanese cities

Security forces fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators.

Protesters return to streets of major Sudanese cities

Sudanese protesters took to the streets in the capital and across the country over dire living conditions and a deadly crackdown on demonstrators in the east earlier this month.

The protests came on the anniversary of a 1964 uprising that ended six years of military rule.

Sudan is currently ruled by a joint civilian-military government, following the popular uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir last year.

The demonstrations came a week after at least 15 people were killed and dozens were wounded in tribal clashes and a government crackdown against protesters in eastern Sudan.

The violence broke out after prime minister Abdalla Hamdok earlier this month sacked Saleh Ammar, governor of the eastern Kassala province.

Footage circulating online showed protesters marching on Wednesday in the capital Khartoum and its twin city, Omdurman, as well as in other cities across the country.

A protester sits in a street facing security forces (Marwan Ali/AP)
A protester sits in a street facing security forces (Marwan Ali/AP)

Security forces fired tear gas in some areas in the capital to disperse protesters.

At least one protester in his 20s was shot dead and more than two dozen others wounded in Khartoum, according to the Sudan Doctors’ Committee, which also campaigned for Mr al-Bashir’s ousting.

The Culture and Information Ministry also said security forces attacked reporters covering the protests.

Security forces blocked off major roads, bridges and streets leading to the presidential palace and the military’s headquarters in Khartoum ahead of the demonstrations.

The state-run Suna news agency said the city centre was in complete lockdown.

The “million-man march” was called by the so-called Resistance Committees, which were instrumental in the protests against Mr al-Bashir and the generals who removed him from office and briefly held power.

Security forces prevent demonstrators from reaching the Sudanese army headquarters (Marwan Ali/AP)
Security forces prevent demonstrators from reaching the Sudanese army headquarters (Marwan Ali/AP)

The protesters are calling for the formation of a legislative body, which is supposed to happen as part of a power-sharing agreement they reached with the military last year.

They also demand results from an independent investigation into the crackdown against protests last year, including the deadly break-up of the main Khartoum protest camp in June 2019.

The probe was supposed to have been completed by February, but investigators asked for an extension, in part due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The transitional government has been struggling to revive Sudan’s battered economy amid a huge budget deficit and widespread shortages of essential goods, including fuel, bread and medicine.

Annual inflation soared past 200% last month as prices of bread and other staples surged, according to official figures.

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