Sudan: Three Dead As Police Try to Disperse Protest

Soldiers on the streets of Khartoum, June 4, 2019.

A group of Sudanese doctors has said that security forces used live rounds on peaceful protesters. Demonstrators are demanding civilian rule, after a military council took over from ousted President Omar al-Bashir.

At least three people were killed in Sudan on Monday as the governing military council tried to end a long-running protest in front of their headquarters in the capital Khartoum. Protest organizers said that security forces were using live rounds to disperse the crowd.

UK Ambassador Irfan Siddiq said that he could hear "heavy gunfire" from his residence.

Organizers, such as the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), called for rallies in the wake of the deaths. The SPA had said on Saturday that there was reason to believe that the military council was "planning and working to end the peaceful sit-in at the headquarters with excessive force and violence" after three people taking part in the demonstration were killed last week.

On Monday in Omdurman, the twin city neighboring Khartoum, demonstrators blocked major roads, throwing stones and lighting tires on fire as police attempted to stop them.

Tens of thousands camp out for weeks

Unrest has gripped Sudan since the decades-long rule of strongman Omar al-Bashir ended in April after months of anti-government protest. After Bashir was deposed, a group of military leaders took control for what they say is an interim period until new elections are held.

However, many in Sudan believe that the council will simply maintain the status quo of the Bashir regime and not hand over power. Negotiations between the military and protest leaders have broken down over disagreement between the groups on who would head a transitional government.

Tens of thousands of protesters have been camped outside the army headquarters for weeks, demanding civilian rule.

es/ng (AFP, Reuters)

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