Sudan’s security forces are killing protesters in the run-up to the anti-coup march

Sudanese security forces killed a demonstrator on Sunday as they struck thousands marching on civilian government, doctors said, bringing the number of dead since last year’s military coup to at least 79.

“Blood is the way to freedom”, chanted protesters waving the Sudanese flag as they marched through the streets of Omdurman, across the Nile from the capital Khartoum.

“Go back to the barracks,” protesters in the eastern state of Gedaref shouted at soldiers, witnesses said.

Pro-Democratic activists have stepped up demands for protests to restore a transition to civilian rule, following the October 25 military takeover by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

The coup, one of several in Sudan’s history after independence, tracked down a power-sharing arrangement between the army and civilians that had been carefully negotiated after the 2019 ouster of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir.

Sunday’s demonstrations took place in the capital Khartoum, as well as in Omdurman, Gedaref and the northern cities of Atbara and Dongola, according to witnesses.

Sudanese authorities have warned protesters to head towards the center of Khartoum, with security forces blocking streets leading to the presidential palace.

But protesters in the capital gathered in large numbers as they headed for the palace, and police fired salvos of tear gas canisters as they approached, an AFP correspondent said.

A 27-year-old protester was killed in Khartoum after suffering a “chest wound … from coup forces”, the Central Committee of Sudanese doctors said in a statement, adding that it was not immediately clear what caused the injury.

Several protesters were seen on Sunday suffering from breathing difficulties and bleeding from wounds from tear gas containers.

At least 79 people have so far been killed and hundreds injured in the crackdown on anti-coup demonstrations, according to the independent group of doctors, while the authorities have also gathered hundreds of pro-democracy activists.

Sudanese authorities have repeatedly denied using sharp ammunition against protesters, insisting that large numbers of security personnel were injured during the protests.

A police general was stabbed to death during the riots earlier this month.

“Not the end” The Sudanese Professionals Association, an umbrella group that has helped organize the anti-Bashir protests and later anti-coup meetings, promised that the demonstrations “were not over”, a statement said before the latest demonstration.

“We will not leave the streets until the fall of the coup regime, to achieve a democratic state and hold all murderers and those who have committed crimes against the people accountable,” the statement added.

The UN, which has recently launched talks between factions in an attempt to resolve the crisis after the coup, has warned authorities to use force to stop political protests.

“Peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are human rights that must be protected,” the UN mission in Sudan said ahead of the protests, urging the authorities to allow the demonstrations to “pass without violence”.

The US State Department’s Office of African Affairs said Sudan’s military leaders had engaged in dialogue to resolve the crisis during a visit this month to Khartoum by senior US diplomats.

“Yet their actions – more violence against protesters, detention of civil society activists – tell a different story and will have consequences,” it said.

(AFP)

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