Sudan protests: At least five killed by security forces as anti-government rallies turn violent

Security forces have killed at least 65 since protests began

Samuel Osborne
Tuesday 09 April 2019 15:42
Shots heard amid fresh anti-gov protests in Sudan

At least five protesters have been killed by security forces in Sudan as thousands of protesters called for the resignation of president Omar al-Bashir, activists have said.

Demonstrations began in December over price hikes and food shortages, but quickly escalated to protests against Mr Bashir’s 30-year-rule.

Security forces have responded with a fierce crackdown, killing at least 60 people according to Physicians for Human Rights, a New York-based rights group. The latest deaths raised the tally to at least 65 since protests began.

The government has claimed 32 people have been killed, but hasn’t updated its tally in weeks.

Security forces have used tear gas, stun grenades and live ammunition to disperse protests, witnesses have said.

Thousands of protesters held a sit-in outside Mr Bashir’s residence in central Khartoum on Saturday, having camped there overnight.

Sarah Abdel-Jaleel, a spokeswoman for the Sudanese Professionals Association, an umbrella group of independent professional unions, said four people were killed in the capital city of Khartoum on Saturday and another protester was killed in the neighbouring city of Omdurman.

Stone-throwing protesters clashed with security forces using tear gas, live ammunition and batons to disperse tens of thousands of people gathered outside the military’s headquarters and a presidential residence in Khartoum, according to the organisers.

The Sudan Doctors Committee, an SPA affiliate, said that dozens had been wounded in rallies across the country, many of them by live ammunition.

Mr Bashir has refused to step down, saying his opponents should seek power through the ballot box.

He has also asked parliament to postpone constitutional amendments that would allow him to seek a new term in next year’s elections.

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On Saturday, police and security forces blocked all bridges leading to the capital’s centre from Khartoum North and Omdurman, across the River Nile to the north and west respectively, in what appeared to be a bid to prevent the sit-in from swelling. They remained closed on Sunday, causing major traffic jams.

Additional reporting by agencies

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