8 June 2014

Sudan: Boy Dies After Police Disperse Water Protest in Sudan's Capital

Khartoum — A 14-year-old boy has died and an unknown number of people detained by police after citizens of Sudan's capital took to the streets in protest against water cuts on Sunday.

The boy, whose name has not been disclosed, died after choking on "heavy tear gas". More than 100 citizens of the Mayu, Ais Sessen, and El Haseri neighbourhoods of south Khartoum participated in the demonstration against the ongoing water crisis in the city, which has dragged-on for at least three months.

Witnesses told Radio Dabanga that the demonstration took place in the neighbourhoods' main road. Police moved in, fired "heavy tear gas" to disperse them. They beat the demonstrators with sticks and arrested several. "The boy who died was not part of the demonstration," a source said. "He was sitting inside his home, but the teargas was so dense, it penetrated the surrounding buildings."

In a statement of Sunday evening, Khartoum police confirmed that they acted "to disperse a peoples' demonstration in south Khartoum." The statement confirms that "a number of citizens gathered in south Khartoum to protest the cutting of the water supply. The demonstration blocked the main road in the area. The police were ordered to intervene and disperse the gathering in order to re-open the road."

It confirms that some citizens were detained, and once person died. "The person died in hospital after choking on teargas."

The latest reports reaching Radio Dabanga from south Khartoum say that it is not yet known whether the detainees have been charged or released.

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