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Sudan uprising: Thursday protests result in new arrests

February 22 - 2019 KHARTOUM / WAD MADANI / PORT SUDAN / ATBARA
Employees of ZAIN, MTN Telecommunications and Savola Foods are protesting on the street in Khartoum on Thursday (RD)
Employees of ZAIN, MTN Telecommunications and Savola Foods are protesting on the street in Khartoum on Thursday (RD)

Thousands of Sudanese people demonstrated at El Soug El Arabi in Khartoum to demand the ousting of President Omar Al Bashir from power on Thursday. They simultaneously held marches in the capital city despite the large deployment of security forces.

The Sudanese Professionals Association, a parallel workers union representing doctors, teachers, engineers and other professions, and parties signatory to the Declaration of Freedom and Change.

Demonstrators and journalists at the scene told Radio Dabanga that three marches were launched from Jakson bus station, the stadium, and El Soug El Arabi, despite the heavy deployment of security forces which transformed downtown Khartoum into a military barracks.

The security forces fired tear gas at the demonstrators and launched a campaign of mass arrests on dozens of people. Meanwhile the protesters chanted slogans and carried banners representing the participating groups and the demands of the demonstrators.

More than 10 demonstrations took place in various districts of Khartoum, including Burri, El Shajara, Khartoum 2 and Khartoum 3, El Hamadab, Shambat, Um Badda, Wad Nubawi, and the Omdurman market.

Gathered rocks in Wad Madani on Thursday (RD)

Arrests

Agents of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) detained at least 26 political and civil society leaders and members who have signed the Declaration of Freedom and Change from the vicinity of the Faroug Mosque in central Khartoum, just moments before the start of one of the marches on Thursday.

The list of detainees includes Hamid Ali Nur, secretary-general of the Civil Society Initiative and the deputy chairman of the Sudan Call, Mohamed El Khateeb, secretary-general of the Sudanese Communist Party, Maryam El Sadig, co-vice president of the National Umma Party (NUP), Sara Nugdallah, NUP secretary-general, Mohamed El Mahdi, head of the NUP political bureau, Ibrahim Taha Ayoub, Siddig El Sadig, Yahya El Hussein, Mohamed Faroug, Mohamed Widaa, Fathi Nouri, Ahmed Shakir, Muawiya Shaddad, and others.

The list of arrests also included leaders of the Sudanese Professional Association, among them the doctors Mohamed Yousef and Montasir El Tayeb.

Last week Amnesty International and the Sudanese Journalists’ Network reported that approximately 79 journalists have been arrested during the now three months of protests which started on December 19 and spread to various cities and states in Sudan. The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) reported that during this period, 30 human rights defenders have been arrested.

Red Sea state

Sudanese people demonstrated in Red Sea, El Gezira and Sennar states in response to the call of the Declaration of Freedom and Change group. A protester told Radio Dabanga from Port Sudan that their march started from the public station in the city and came across the market.

This protest was also aimed against the privatisation of the southern port of Port Sudan.

Security forces dealt with the demonstrations with “excessive violence”, the protester said, firing tear gas and arresting a number of demonstrators including students.

El Gezira, River Nile

Residents of Wad Madani, Arbaji and El Halawin in El Gezira state took part in demonstrations demanding the overthrow of the regime and condemning the killing of protesters by security forces.

Doctors and medical staff held a silent sit-in in Atbara Hospital in River Nile state. The doctors raised banners calling for the fall of the regime, demanding the release of detainees and denouncing the use of violence against them.

Employees of ZAIN, MTN and Savola Foods on Thursday.

Workers protest

On Thursday morning, staff members of Zain, MTN Telecommunications, and Savola Foods Company organised three separate protests demanding the regime to step down and condemning the killing of the demonstrators.

Witnesses and journalists told Radio Dabanga that the security forces sent security reinforcements to the corporates’ headquarters. Observers in Sudanese media have considered the vigils by the telecommunications and food companies as a horizontal expansion of the demonstrations, adding diversity to all the other professions and sectors which have joined in the demonstrations.


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