• Today
    November 15

  • 05:02 AM

Tens of thousands demand civilian rule in Sudan, at least seven killed

REUTERS,

Added 30 June 2019

protests-in-sudan-063019

Demonstrators hold Sudanese flag as they march on the streets demanding the ruling military hand over to civilians, in Khartoum, Sudan, June 30, 2019. (Reuters)

KHARTOUM – Huge crowds marched on Sudan’s defence ministry on Sunday demanding the ruling military hand over power to civilians, and the authorities said at least seven people were killed and scores injured in protests nationwide.

In the biggest demonstrations since a deadly raid by security forces on a protest camp in central Khartoum three weeks ago, tens of thousands of residents took to the streets in several parts of the Sudanese capital.

In two areas near the presidential palace and in the upscale eastern neighbourhood of Riyadh, they were met by security forces firing barrages of tear gas, witnesses said.

The deputy head of Sudan’s ruling military council, General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, said unknown snipers were shooting at civilians and soldiers.

Seven people were killed and 181 wounded, 27 of them by live fire, in protests nationwide, the state news agency reported, citing a Health Ministry undersecretary.

The official said 10 of those injured were members of regular forces, including three conscripts of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), led by Hemedti, who were injured by gunfire. The remaining seven were injured by stones hurled by demonstrators, he added.

A doctor’s group linked to the opposition said at least five protesters were killed and dozens injured during demonstrations in several cities. Reuters could not verify those accounts.

Sudan’s military overthrew president Omar al-Bashir in April after months of demonstrations against his rule.

Opposition groups kept up those demonstrations as they pressed the military to hand over power to civilians. But talks broke down after members of the security services raided the sit-in protest camp outside the defence ministry on June 3.

The Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) opposition coalition called for a million people to demonstrate on Sunday – the 30th anniversary of the coup that brought Bashir to power, and the African Union’s deadline for Sudan’s military rulers to hand over to civilians or face further sanctions.

In another part of Khartoum, thousands blocked the main multi-lane highway that leads to the airport as they marched toward the home of a protester who was killed in January.

Protesters waved the Sudanese flag and chanted “civilian, civilian” and “blood for blood,” as Sudan beefed up security across the capital.

“We came out once again for the revolution and we will not retreat until they handover power to a civilian authority,” protester Hassan Ahmed told Reuters.

The Transitional Military Council had warned a day earlier that the opposition coalition would bear the responsibility for any loss of life or damage resulting from Sunday’s protests.

Members of one of the main opposition groups - the Sudanese Professionals’ Association – said the security services raided its headquarters on Saturday night as it was about to give a news conference.

The United Nations has said it has received reports that more than 100 protesters were killed and many more injured during the June 3 raid on the protest camp.

Military leaders have denied ordering a raid on the camp and said a crackdown on criminals nearby had spilled over.

The council has said some officers had been detained for presumed responsibility, and that it still intends to hand over power after elections.

Mediators led by the African Union and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed have been trying to broker a return to direct talks. (Reuters)

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Dos and Donts


Welcome to our discussion forum here on nationnews.com. We encourage lively debate, but we also urge you to take note of the following:

  • Stay on topic – This helps keep the thread focused on the discussion at hand. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.
  • Be respectful – Meeting differences of opinion with civil discussion encourages multiple perspectives and a positive commenting environment.
  • Do not type in capitals – In addition to being considered “shouting” it is also difficult to read.
  • All comments will be moderated – Given the volume of comments each day, this may take some time. So please be patient.
  • We reserve the right to remove comments – Comments that we find to be abusive, spam, libellous, hateful, off-topic or harassing may be removed.
  • Reproduction of comments – Some of your comments may be reproduced on the website or in our daily newspapers. We will use the handle, not your email address.
  • Do not advertise – Please contact our Advertising Department.
  • Contact our Online Editor if you have questions or concerns.
  • Read our full Commenting Policy and Terms of Use.
comments powered by Disqus

POLL

Do you think the transaction fees at some banks are too high?

Yes
No

FRONT COVER OF TODAY'S NEWSPAPER

CARTOON

INSTAGRAM