29 January 2019

Sudan Uprising - Protests Expected As Port Sudan Massacre Remembered

Photo: Radio Dabanga
Demonstrators in El Barsi in El Gezira on 28 January, 2019.

El Gezira / Sennar — The public in the Sudanese states of Sennar and El Gezira, south of Khartoum, staged protests on Monday to demand the step-down of President Omar Al Bashir from power, in the sixth week of rallies and marches against the regime in Sudan.

Residents in El Barsi and Fadul in El Gezira gathered in the street to protest and raise banners reading 'Just fall' and 'The revolution is the choice of the people'.

In Rameitab, east of El Hosh, Hantoub, and El Bageir people also protested and shouted slogans denouncing the regime and calling for freedom, dignity and justice. One of the demonstrations closed the Wad Madani-Khartoum highway.

The people in El Gezira and Sennar responded to calls to organise and join protests on Monday, by organisations which signed the Declaration of Freedom and Change. In a statement during the weekend the signatory parties called upon people to march to commemorate the martyrs of Sudan.

The demonstrations planned for this week will commemorate the people killed during the demonstrations in addition to the victims of the Port Sudan massacre on January 29, 2005, when peaceful demonstrators in Port Sudan were shot by the riot police and security service, killing 21 people and wounding a large number of others. About 300 people were arrested.

For today, the High Committee for the Commemoration of the Martyrs of Port Sudan planned a sit-in in the Martyrs Square in Port Sudan. Organizer Abdallah Mousa told Radio Dabanga from Port Sudan: "The commemoration of the martyrs in Port Sudan this year coincides with the December 19 [the date that the current uprising started, RD] uprising."

The gathering and sit-in in the Martyrs Square in Port Sudan will be held on from Tuesday morning until 5 pm.

Mousa explained that they have notified the police and the security authorities about the sit-in, but does not rule out that the authorities "may use violence and repression against the protesters, as they did and are doing so in other cities, villages and the countryside of Sudan".

For the rest of the week, sit-ins are planned to be held on Wednesday, and on Thursday large demonstrations are planned in all in all major cities and towns in the country.

Currently, government officials have stated the death toll of killed people during the demonstrations has risen to 29 people, a lower number compared to the at least 40 people that have been reported killed according to human rights groups earlier this month. In addition, five people were killed this week: the Sudanese Central Doctor's Committee reported two young men killed on January 24 and three men have been shot and killed in Burri, Khartoum, during January 17 demonstrations.

In addition, Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) continues to arrest political leaders, lawyers and journalists, sources in Sudan informed Radio Dabanga. The international Committee to Project Journalists also reported that four El Midan journalists and editors and also two freelance journalists have been detained since January 25.

The moves came as President Al Bashir, speaking at a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Cairo, blamed the media for exaggerating the size of the protests.

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