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Six injured as Sudan police disperse Khartoum crowds with tear gas, live fire

December 25 - 2018 KHARTOUM
A Land Cruiser mounted with an anti-aircraft/anti-tank gun in Khartoum this morning
A Land Cruiser mounted with an anti-aircraft/anti-tank gun in Khartoum this morning

At least six people were injured as a result of police action in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum today. A heavy police and military presence prevented the marchers from reaching the Presidential Palace on the banks of the Nile, where they intended to hand a memorandum to President Omar Al Bashir.

From early this morning, convoys of troops in four-wheel-drive vehicles poured into downtown Khartoum in anticipation of the rally. As the morning progressed, crowds of people, some chanting slogans, converged on Abu Jinzir Square from several directions.

When the mass attempted to move toward the Presidential Palace around midday, the police fired tear gas to disperse the marchers. At least six people were wounded by live bullets, according to a statement by the organisers. There have been no reports of fatalities, but casualty reports are still being confirmed.

Media curbs

In the periphery of the march and protest, security forces clamped-down on anyone attempting to report on the events. Many people were arrested (numbers are not yet clear) and several people attempting to make videos has their phones confiscated. There are reports of at least one journalist injured during the day.

The protest gathering lasted for more than five hours, as each time the tear gas cleared, more demonstrators surged forward.

‘Committed to peacefulness’

Mohamed Abdelaziz, member of the secretariat of the Sudanese Professionals Association told Radio Dabanga earlier: “The rally is committed to peacefulness, while emphasizing the commitment of the Sudanese professional association to work peacefully in all its steps for change”.

He called in the name of the association on everyone to raise banners, slogans, cheers and national flags to express the national unity towards the issue of regime ousting.

Port Sudan

The widespread street protests have continued across Sudan for six consecutive days. On Monday, Port Sudan in the Red Sea state, El Managil in El Gezira and other parts of El Gezira, witnessed demonstrations demanding the overthrow of the regime and denouncing the poor economic situation amid the ongoing cash, fuel, bread and medicine crisis throughout Sudan.

Yesterday, El Wihda, Salalab and El Imtidad districts in Port Sudan witnessed peaceful demonstrations. Witnesses told Radio Dabanga from Port Sudan that the police faced the demonstration with excessive violence using batons and tear gas.

International

The international community has called on the Sudan government and opposition forces for restraint during the ongoing protests. The Troika (the USA, Norway and the United Kingdom and Canada) has issued a joint statement expressing “concern about the violence occurring during recent protests in Sudan, including credible reports of the use of live fire by the government of Sudan and of multiple deaths during several protests.”

Amnesty International says it has credible reports that 37 protesters have been shot dead by the security forces in five days of anti-government demonstrations that have rocked the country. “With further protest planned tomorrow, the fact that the security forces are using lethal force so indiscriminately against unarmed protesters is extremely troubling,” said Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s deputy director for East Africa, the Great Lakes and the Horn.

On the international level, yesterday the Sudanese demonstrated in Washington, The Hague and for the second day in Paris in front of the Sudanese embassy in solidarity with the internal movement demanding the overthrow of Al Bashir and his regime from power.

On Monday, dozens of Sudanese in the Netherlands marched through The Hague in solidarity with the protests and submitted a memorandum to the Dutch Foreign Ministry, pointing to the excessive violence with which the regime faced peaceful demonstrations and use of bullets in the face of peaceful demonstrators, resulting in dozens of deaths and injuries in Sudan.

The demonstrators then carried out a sit-in outside the Sudanese embassy in The Hague.

 


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