Khartoum: Under fire from tear gas, hundreds of Sudanese demonstrated in Khartoum against military power on Friday, a day after the bloodiest day since the start of the year.
“We took to the streets spontaneously in reaction to yesterday’s violence,” Chawqi Abdelazim, who is demonstrating in the Sudanese capital, told AFP.
It was in Khartoum that security forces on Thursday killed, according to doctors, nine protesters demanding the return of civilians to power in a country almost always controlled by generals since independence in 1956.
Demonstrators chanted by tens of thousands “The people want Burhane to fall” in the capital, in the suburbs, but also in several cities across the country.
Friday, for the second day in a row, in central Khartoum and its northeastern suburbs, the crowd kept up the pressure on General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane, the army chief who authorized an October 25 coup that plunged the country into political and economic crisis.
Several hundred protesters shouted “revenge” with photos of victims of the repression that, since the coup, has left 113 dead and thousands injured, according to pro-democracy doctors.
Thursday was a symbolic day in Sudan as it marked the anniversary of the coup that brought dictator Omar al-Bashir to power and a protest that forced the army to share power with civilians after his ouster in 2019.
Live ammunition and “impunity”
Most of Thursday’s victims, including a minor, were shot dead, prompting a wave of condemnation from the international community, which for eight months failed to convince generals to stop shooting at the crowd or bringing civilians to the negotiating table. with those same soldiers.
The US embassy said it was “heartbroken by these tragic deaths”, while the UN and the African Union (AU) condemned “the excessive use of force by security forces and the impunity” they enjoy.
The Norwegian Embassy, maneuvering in Sudan with Washington and the former British colonial power, condemned “torture, sexual violence and inhumane treatment”, including protesters and activists detained by the dozen.
“Impunity must end”, she hammered, while no police so far have had to answer for any deaths – not that of the anti-coup protesters, not even that of the more than 250 killed in the “revolution” that ended 30 years of the dictatorship of Omar al- Bashir in 2019.
After the undisputed reign of this Islamist-backed general, the army was forced to agree to share power with civilians. But on October 25, 2021, General Burhane abruptly ended that transition by arresting his civilian partners, who have since been released.
In retaliation, the international community cut its aid, which accounted for 40% of Sudan’s budget. These sanctions have not doubled down on the military – almost always in charge since independence in 1956 – but have caused the economy to plummet with the collapse of the Sudanese pound and inflation exceeding 200% each month.
Sudanese police on Friday commented on the events of the previous day, accusing the protesters of violence and arson and reporting more than 200 injuries in the police ranks.
Nonetheless, on Friday, in the northeastern suburbs of Khartoum, protesters erected barricades and blocked roads with burning tires, while others converged on the presidential palace under tear gas, a rallying point for the anti-putsch, they reported. AFP journalists.