Sudan protesters urge Darfur demos as new rallies planned

13 January, 2019, 20:02 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Sudanese demonstrators march along the street during anti-government protests after Friday prayers in Khartoum Sudan

The demonstration was the first of its kind in Darfur since the unrest began.

The number of protesters killed in Sudan has risen to 24 since demonstrations began last month, according the head of the country's fact-finding committee, even as rights groups state a much higher toll.

"We condemn using bullets against citizens", said the commission, whose members are appointed by President Omar al-Bashir.

In a separate incident, witnesses said hundreds of demonstrators emerged from a mosque known to be affiliated to Bashir's government in Jabra neighbourhood in southern Khartoum while chanting: "The people want the fall of the regime". The rest were killed in Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman and regions north and northeast of the capital.

They were quickly confronted by volleys of tear gas from riot police.

Three demonstrators were killed in protests Thursday and Amnesty International accused security forces of chasing injured victims into the Omdurman hospital.

Protests that first erupted in the provinces on December 19 over a government decision to triple the price of bread have swiftly escalated into nationwide rallies widely seen as the biggest threat to Bashir's three-decade rule.

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A group organising anti-government protests across Sudan vowed to stage new demonstrations on Sunday, including for the first time in the war-torn region of Darfur.

"The Government of Sudan must also take immediate action to stop the practice of shooting protesters and respect the Sudanese people's right to freedom of expression", said Sarah Jackson, the human rights group's Deputy Director for East Africa.

Repeated shortages of food and fuel have been reported in several cities, including the capital, Khartoum, while the cost of food and medicine has more than doubled.

"Egypt fully supports the security and stability of Sudan, which is integral to Egypt's national security", President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi told an aide to Al Bashir who visited Cairo last week.

Washington imposed a trade embargo on Khartoum in 1997 that was lifted only in October 2017.

The crackdown has drawn global criticism, with countries like Britain, Norway, Canada and the United States warning Khartoum that its actions could "have an impact" on its relations with their governments.

A nation of 40 million people, Sudan has struggled to recover from the loss of three quarters of its oil output-its main source of foreign currency-when South Sudan seceded in 2011.

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