Hundreds of people in Sudan continue to demonstrate against the military regime

Hundreds of Sudanese protesters demanding an end to military rule took to the streets of the capital Khartoum and its suburbs for a fourth consecutive day on Sunday, witnesses said.

A violent crackdown by security forces on mass rallies on Thursday killed nine people, doctors say, the deadliest day in several months in the long protests against a military takeover last October led by the leader of the Abdel Fattah al-Burhan army.

Recent protests have seen crowds burning tires and barricading roads with bricks, with security forces using live ammunition, firing barrages of tear gas canisters and using powerful water cannons, according to medics and the United Nations.

Protesters are demanding a restoration of the transition to civilian rule that was launched after the 2019 ouster of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir, which the coup derailed.

“We will continue this sit-in until the coup is overthrown and we have an entirely civilian government,” protester Muayyad Mohamed told AFP in central Khartoum.

The death toll from protest-related violence has reached 114 since last year’s coup, with the latest fatality recorded on Saturday when a protester died from injuries sustained during a rally on June 16, according to pro-democracy doctors.

‘We will not compromise’ “We will not compromise until the goals of our revolution are achieved,” said Soha, 25, another protester, who gave only her first name. “We are here in the streets to demand freedom, peace, justice, civil status and the return of soldiers to barracks.”

The coup plunged Sudan further into political and economic turmoil that sent consumer prices skyrocketing and led to life-threatening food shortages.

On Sunday, witnesses reported a massive deployment of security forces on the streets of Khartoum, including both army vehicles as well as those of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a feared paramilitary unit commanded by Burhan’s deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo.

The RSF incorporated members of the Janjawid militia, accused by rights groups of atrocities during the 2003 conflict in the western Darfur region. More recently, the RSF have been accused of participating in the repression of demonstrators marching against the army. .

The international community has condemned the recent bloodbath, with the UN human rights chief calling for an independent investigation into Thursday’s violence.

‘Dialogue’ The UN, African Union and regional bloc IGAD have tried to facilitate dialogue between generals and civilians, which the main civilian factions have boycotted.

On Friday, the three bodies jointly condemned the violence and “the excessive use of force by the security forces and the lack of responsibility for such acts, despite repeated commitments by the authorities”.

In the restive Darfur region, which has recently seen an outbreak of violence, General Daglo – known as Hemeti – on Sunday called on “all political forces, especially the youth, to come to the dialogue table”.

“Dialogue is the only way to guarantee stability in our country,” he said at a ceremony where 2,000 ex-rebels completed their training to join Sudan’s security forces.

The integration of former rebel fighters into Sudan’s army and police was part of a 2020 peace deal with rebel groups embroiled in decades of civil conflict, including in Darfur.

The first of its kind, the cohort “will face chaos in Darfur”, Daglo said.

Hundreds of people have been killed in recent months in Darfur, in a new spike in violence sparked by disputes mainly over land, livestock and access to water and pasture.

(AFP)

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