Sudan: Protest March in Sudan Capital 'Biggest in Years'

A crowd protests the skyrocketed bread and fuel prices, among others, in El Gezira Aba in White Nile state, on December 21.

Khartoum — The mass demonstration yesterday organised by the Sudan Professionals Association in Khartoum, has been described as the largest of its kind in many years. As reported by Radio Dabanga yesterday, thousands of Sudanese demonstrated yesterday in a peaceful procession to demand the immediate withdrawal of the regime headed by President Omar Al Bashir from power.

The Sudanese Professionals Association called the rally in Khartoum to hand over a memorandum to the Republican Palace in the centre of Khartoum demanding the formation of a transitional government.

Security forces that spread with unprecedented intensity, blocked thousands of Sudanese professionals from reaching the Presidential Palace yesterday to hand over the memorandum calling for Al Bashir to step down. They used high-intensity tear gas and live bullets, resulting in injuries and mass detentions.

Cameramen targeted

The security forces in particular targeted professional cameramen and others recording the event with mobile phones and using Facebook live by chasing, assaulting and arresting them. The National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) banned news channels from operating in Khartoum and prevented its service providers from providing any services or assistance to cover the events.

The demonstrators chanted slogans such as "The people want to overthrow the regime", "Freedom, peace, justice and revolution".

Observers of the march of professionals in Khartoum described the demonstration as "very successful and unprecedented" in terms of intensity, accuracy of organisation, and length, as the demonstration continued for about five hours continuous despite the huge presence of security forces, the continues use of tear gas and the brutal beating of demonstrators.

Adil Kolor, a Sudanese journalist who participated in the demonstration, told Radio Dabanga that the most prominent characteristic of the march was the use of new resistance tactics, including withdrawal from the main roads when needed, and taking alternative roads, as well as the presence of prominent political party leaders and leaders from all sectors of professionals at the forefront of the demonstration.

Detainees

Among the most prominent detainees yesterday were Ali El Sanhour, Secretary of the Baath Party, Prof Najda Mansour, leader of the Darfur Civil Society Organisation and poet Mohamed El Gaddal, after being severely beaten.

Yasir Abdallah, Editor-in-Chief of El Sudani newspaper, was wounded in the head in front of the newspaper's office downtown, as the troops fired into the air to disperse the demonstrators in that street.

Two other journalists were slightly injured when tear gas canisters hit their legs. Security forces and police fired tear gas at El Mawadda Hospital in central Khartoum and broke its doors.

The Sudan Professionals Association stated on its Facebook page that six demonstrators sustained bullet wounds, some of them serious.

Khaled Fathi, Editor-in-Chief of El Hayat newspaper described central Khartoum yesterday as "an entire military zone". He described the demonstration as "massive and full-blown.

Fathi, who participated in the demonstration, told Radio Dabanga that "What is striking today is that the forces deployed and those who used violence and bullets were wearing police uniforms, but it seemed they were not real policemen. Who are they, under who's command?"

Ongoing

In various places in Sudan, demonstrations demanding Al Bashir to step down continued for the seventh day. The protests against growing hunger because of the skyrocketing prices and huge inflation started in Atbara in northern Sudan last Wednesday, but the demands quickly turned against President Al Bashir and his regime, after dozens were killed and wounded in the demonstrations.

Yesterday protests broke out in El Deim and El Sahafa in Khartoum. The crowds called for the overthrow of the regime and demanded freedom and justice.

People in El Fula of West Kordofan and El Hilaliya in El Gezira took to the streets as well in protest against the economic hardships.

In El Gedaref in eastern Sudan, where people took to the streets in protest against the tripling of the prices of bread last Thursday, the number of people who succumbed to bullet wounds rose to 10 on Sunday.

Jafar Khidir told Radio Dabanga from El Gedaref that Mazin Mohamed and Khalid Mohamed died on Sunday. The others were shot dead on Thursday: "Muhannad Ahmed, Hamid Abdelmalik, Nour Abdelghani, Tarig Suleiman, Mohamed Abdelrahman, army soldier Siddig Halouf, rehabilitation worker Osman Kuwa, and a boy from Salama El Bayeh".

Khidir added that a number of wounded were transferred in critical condition to hospitals in Khartoum and Wad Madani.

He pointed out that about 20 people were detained in El Gedaref. Eight others were told to report daily to the security services in the town.

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