Sudan’s security forces deployed as anti-coup protesters promise new demonstrations

Sudanese security forces have spread around Khartoum and neighboring cities ahead of planned anti-coup protests, days after the country’s civilian prime minister resigned, witnesses said on Tuesday.

Streets leading to the army headquarters in central Khartoum were cordoned off in the middle of a heavy presence of riot police, paramilitary forces and army personnel, witnesses said.

Pro-Democratic activists have intensified calls for protests against a military coup on October 25 led by Supreme Leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who imprisoned then-Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and ministers.

The coup has triggered mass demonstrations and a violent strike that has so far left at least 57 dead and hundreds injured. At least 13 women have been raped during the riots.

On November 21, Burhan reinstated Hamdok in an agreement that promised elections in mid-2023. The protest movement criticized the deal as “betrayal” and has kept up the street pressure.

Late on Sunday, Hamdok announced that he was resigning, saying that he had tried to prevent the country “from slipping into disaster” but that it now stood at a “dangerous crossroads that threatens its survival”.

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Pro-Democratic activists have called on protesters to take to the streets on Tuesday to go to the presidential palace in Khartoum “until victory is achieved”.

Sudan has been navigating a fragile transition to full civilian rule since being ousted by veteran President Omar al-Bashir in April 2019 following an unprecedented wave of youth-led protests.

Burhan last month issued a decree allowing security forces to arrest individuals “for crimes related to the state of emergency,” which in practice prohibits street protests.

Security forces are allowed to go in and search “any building or individual” and introduce “surveillance of all properties and facilities”.

Since the coup, authorities have often blocked Internet services and disrupted communication lines to prevent mass rallies.

(AFP)

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