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Sudanese anti-coup protesters barricade streets

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Sudanese protesters set up a burning barricade during demonstrations outside the military headquarters in Khartoum, Sudan.
Sudanese protesters set up a burning barricade during demonstrations outside the military headquarters in Khartoum, Sudan.

SUDAN: Sudanese anti-coup protesters on Sunday manned barricades in Khartoum a day after a deadly crackdown on mass rallies, as a defiant civil disobedience campaign against the military takeover entered its seventh day.

Tens of thousands had turned out across the country for Saturday’s demonstrations, marching against the army’s October 25 power grab, when top General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan dissolved the government, declared a state of emergency and detained Sudan’s civilian leadership.

The move sparked a chorus of international condemnation and punitive aid cuts, with world powers demanding a swift return to civilian rule and calls for the military to show “restraint” against protesters.

Volker Perthes, UN special representative to Sudan, said Sunday he had met with detained Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who is under armed guard by the ruling military junta.

“He (Hamdok) remains well but under house arrest,” Perthes said. “We discussed options for mediation and the way forward for Sudan. I will continue these efforts with other Sudanese stakeholders.”

The independent Central Committee of Sudan’s Doctors said Sunday that militias shot dead a protester on the day of the coup, pushing its overall toll to 12 dead.

A senior US official had estimated at least 20 to 30 people had been killed before Saturday’s protests.

At least three people were shot dead and more than 100 wounded during Saturday’s demonstrations, according to medics, who reported those killed had bullet wounds to the head, chest or stomach. Police forces denied the killings, or using live rounds.

“No, no, to military rule,” protesters carrying Sudanese flags chanted as they marched around the capital and other cities, as forces fired tear gas to break them up.Sudan had been ruled since August 2019 by a joint civilian-military council as part of the now derailed transition to full civilian rule.

After leading the coup, Burhan promised that a “new civilian” government would be formed.On Sunday, demonstrators who had blocked the eastern trade hub of Port Sudan since mid-September in protest against Hamdok’s government said they would lift the blockade.“We decided to lift the blockade on the port and the land route (to Khartoum) for a month until the formation of a new government, to give it a chance” to find a solution for the country’s east, said protest leader Abdallah Abouchar.

Also on Sunday, Sudan TV reported that Burhan sacked the prosecutor general following the release of several figures linked to ousted regime President Omar al-Bashir.

But Burhan — who became de facto leader after hard-line Bashir was ousted and jailed in 2019 following huge youth-led protests — has insisted the military takeover was “not a coup”. Instead, Burhan says he wants to “rectify the course of the Sudanese transition”.

Burhan was a general under Bashir’s three decades of iron-fisted rule, and analysts said the coup aimed to maintain the army’s traditional control over the northeast African country. – YAHOO NEWS


Tuesday, November 2, 2021 – 01:00

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