Sudanese police and troops deployed in large numbers to the capital Khartoum on Sunday ahead of a massive protest organized by pro-democracy groups against coup leader General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.
AFP correspondents said security forces blocked bridges across the Nile that connect Khartoum with its suburbs.
Protesters pledged to take to the streets in large numbers, following a period of relative calm over the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha that ended early last week.
Protesters protest Burhan’s capture of power in October and are also highlighting heavy fighting in Sudan’s southern Blue Nile state, about 450 kilometers south of Khartoum.
Sudan’s latest coup derailed the transition to civilian rule, sparked by nearly weekly protests and crackdowns by security forces, which killed at least 114 people according to pro-democracy practitioners.
Nine people had died on June 30, doctors said, when thousands had gathered and their deaths rekindled the movement.
On 4 July Burhan made a surprise move to make way for a civilian government.
But the country’s main civilian umbrella group dismissed the move as a “trick”. Protesters continue to pressurize the army chief to resign.
They now accuse the military leadership in power and former rebel leaders who signed the 2020 peace deal of escalating ethnic tensions for personal gain.
In the Blue Nile on Sunday, eyewitnesses reported that troops were deployed to the city of al-Roziers, killing at least 33 people and injuring more than 100 in violence between rival ethnic groups, according to the health ministry. Were.
Guerillas in the Blue Nile fought former strongman President Omar al-Bashir during Sudan’s 1983–2005 civil war, taking up arms again in 2011.
Bashir was dropped in 2019. The following year, the transitional administration reached a peace deal with major rebel groups, including the Blue Nile as well as the war-ravaged western Darfur region.
The current violence in the Blue Nile is between two local groups, the Bertie and the Hausa.