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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Thousands defy lockdown in Sudan in latest anti-coup demonstrations

Security forces fired tear gas at protesters trying to march towards the presidential palace in Sudan’s capital, as thousands defied a lockdown to join a protest against the new coup.

Thursday’s protests were the 11th day of major demonstrations since the October 25 coup, in which Abdullah Hamdok was ousted and then reinstated as prime minister. Protesters have demanded that the military play no role in the government during the transition to free elections.

Sudanese authorities shut down mobile and internet services on Thursday and army, police and paramilitary patrols crossed the streets of Khartoum, while shipping containers blocked the Nile bridges that connect it to its northern suburbs and the twin city of Omdurman. add up.

An army post with an armored vehicle was seen standing on one of the open bridges.

Protesters marching towards a blocked bridge connecting the city of Bahri to the capital raised the slogan: “As much as we sacrifice and die, we will not be ruled by the boot.”

Reuters news agency said tear gas shells were fired at protesters near the bridge in Bahri.

The bridges were closed during the last protest on 25 December, when thousands took to the streets.

Protesters opposing the military rule reached the Rashtrapati Bhavan that day, despite tear gas shells being fired and communications cut off. The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors said that more than 200 people were injured during that protest, six of whom were killed by live bullets.

According to the doctors’ committee, at least 48 people have been killed by security forces since pro-democracy activists launched a campaign of street protests against the coup.

A source at a telecommunications company told Reuters news agency that the order to shut down the internet came from the Sudan National Telecommunications Corporation.

Activists use the Internet to organize demonstrations and broadcast live footage of rallies.

Meanwhile, new surveillance cameras were installed on the main streets of Khartoum, with protesters about to march for Thursday’s planned protests.

Reporting from Khartoum, Al Jazeera’s Mohamed Waal said protesters were being targeted with tear gas as they tried to get closer to the presidential palace.

“There are clashes between protesters and security forces around the palace,” Wall said.

“The numbers today are lower than on Saturday due to heavy security arrangements including closing of bridges and doubling or tripling the number of security forces and they are using tear gas,” Wall explained.

Speaking from Miami, Cameron Hudson, a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center, said that since the October 25 military coup, it “has been repeatedly miscalculated by the military in terms of both the strength and tenacity of the protest movement.” Is.”

“More and more strenuous efforts have been made [by the military]Whatever is left of the infection at every stage, essentially, has been underestimated,” he said.

America appeals for peace

The US embassy called on the government led by military chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan to exercise restraint, which was relying on a controversial November partnership deal with Hamdok to quell public anger.

“The US Embassy reiterates its support for the peaceful expression of democratic aspiration, and the need to respect and protect individuals who give free speech,” it said in a statement.

“We call for the utmost discretion in the use of force and urge authorities to refrain from arbitrary detention.”

Activists have condemned attacks of sexual violence during the December 19 protests, in which the United Nations said at least 13 women and girls were raped or gang-raped.

Hamdok was placed under effective house arrest for weeks before returning to the post of prime minister under the November deal, which promised an election for July 2023.

But pro-democracy protesters have widely criticized the agreement as a gift to the military, accusing Hamdok of a “betrayal”, which gave his coup a cloak of legitimacy.

Sudan’s sovereign council this week restored arrest, detention and seizure powers to the country’s intelligence service.


World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Deskhttps://worldnationnews.com/
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