Nine protesters killed in Sudan anti-coup mass rallies

  • At least nine protesters were killed Thursday when security forces sought to stop massive rallies of protesters demanding an end to military rule.
  • AFP correspondents report that security forces fire tear gas and stun grenades to disperse tens of thousands of protesters as violent demonstrations.
  • At least seven of the nine killed were shot in the chest or head, bringing the total death toll since 112 to 112 due to protest-related violence.

At least nine Sudanese protesters were killed on Thursday when security forces tried to stop massive rallies of protesters demanding an end to military rule, pro-democracy medics said.

In one of the most violent days of this year in an ongoing crackdown on the anti-coup movement, AFP correspondents reported security forces firing tear gas and stun grenades to disperse tens of thousands of protesters.

“Even if we die, the military will not govern us,” protesters chanted, urging the reversal of a military coup in October by Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who called on foreign governments to reduce aid, and a deepening chronic economic crisis.

At least seven of the nine killed were shot in the chest or head, the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors said, increasing the total death toll to 112 by protest-related violence since October.

One of them was a minor, doctors said, killed by “a bullet in the chest”.

“Down with the rule of Burhan,” the crowd sang, with protests and violence erupting in both the capital Khartoum and its suburbs, including the twin city of Omdurman, on the other side of the Nile River.

Security forces fired powerful water cannons as protesters set fire to tires.

Medics also reported “several attempts to storm hospitals in Khartoum,” with security forces firing tear gas into one hospital, where some of the injured were taken during the protests.

Protests in Khartoum were bigger than usual and outside the capital, demonstrations also took place in Wad Madani in the south, the western Darfur region, the eastern states of Kassala and Gedaref as well as the city of Port Sudan, witnesses said.

Internet and telephone lines have been disrupted since the early hours of Thursday, a measure often imposed by the Sudanese authorities to prevent mass rallies.

Thursday night, the communication was partly back again.

Security was tight in Khartoum despite the recent lifting of a state of emergency imposed after the coup.

Troops and police blocked roads leading to both the army headquarters and the presidential palace, witnesses said. Shops around the capital were largely closed.

People organize demonstrations demanding civilian rule in Sudan’s capital Khartoum on June 30, 2022.

‘Violence must end’

Demonstrations continued in Omdurman as night fell with crowds trying to remove security barricades in an attempt to cross bridges to reach Khartoum, witnesses said.

Thursday’s rallies showed a “change in the balance of power in favor of the mass movement and its goals to seize full civic authority and defeat the coup,” said the Forces for Freedom and Change, an alliance of civilian groups whose leaders were expelled in the coup.

UN Special Representative Volker Perthes said on Thursday that “violence must end”, while the US Embassy in Khartoum called for restraint and “the protection of civilians so that no more lives are lost”.

The latest protests come on the anniversary of an earlier coup in 1989 that overthrew the country’s last elected civilian government and ushered in three decades of iron-fisted rule by Islamist-backed General Omar al-Bashir.

It is also the anniversary of 2019 protests that demanded that the generals, who had ousted Bashir in a palace coup earlier that year, cede power to citizens.

Those protests led to the formation of the mixed civil-military transitional government that was overthrown in last year’s coup.

Sudan has been hit by almost weekly protests as the country’s economic problems have deepened since Burhan took power last year.

In addition to the African Union and the IGAD regional bloc, the United Nations has sought to facilitate talks between the generals and its citizens, but has been boycotted by major civilian factions.

The UN has warned that the deepening economic and political crisis has pushed one-third of the country’s population of more than 40 million to life-threatening food shortages.

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Nine protesters killed in Sudan anti-coup mass rallies

Source link Nine protesters killed in Sudan anti-coup mass rallies

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