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News ID: 96011
Publish Date : 30 October 2021 - 21:54
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KHARTOUM (Dispatches) -- Military forces shot dead two people during nationwide protests in Sudan on Saturday, a doctors committee said, as hundreds of thousands of people demanded the restoration of a civilian-led government after a military coup.
Sudan’s Central Doctors Committee said the two protesters were shot dead by troops in the capital Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman during demonstrations.
The committee, which is part of the Sudanese Professionals’ Association, said security forces had used live ammunition against protesters in Omdurman around the capital. It said an unspecified number of protesters were also wounded.
Elsewhere, security forces fired tear gas at protesters as they attempted to cross the Manshia Bridge over the Nile River to reach Khartoum’s downtown, said Mohammed Yousef al-Mustafa, a spokesman for the professionals’ association.
People carried Sudanese flags and chanted “Military rule can’t be praised” and “This country is ours, and our government is civilian” as they marched in neighborhoods across the capital.
Protesters also took to the streets in cities in central, eastern, northern and western Sudan. Crowds swelled to the hundreds of thousands in Khartoum, said a Reuters witness.
Thousands of Sudanese have already demonstrated this week against the ousting of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s cabinet on Monday by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan in a takeover that led Western states to freeze hundreds of millions of dollars in aid.
In central Khartoum on Saturday there was a heavy military deployment of armed troops that included the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.
Security forces had blocked roads leading to the defense ministry complex and the airport.
At least 11 protesters have been killed in clashes with security forces this week and opponents fear a full-blown crackdown.
In local neighborhoods, protest groups blocked roads overnight with stones, bricks, tree branches and plastic pipes to try to keep the security forces out.
A 75-year-old man who gave his name as Moatez and who was walking the streets searching for bread said normal life had been brought to a complete halt in Khartoum. “Why did Burhan and the army put the country in this crisis? They could solve the problem without violence,” he said.
With internet and phone lines restricted by the authorities, opponents of the coup have sought to mobilize for the protest using fliers, SMS messages, graffiti, and neighborhood rallies.
Neighborhood-based resistance committees, active since the uprising against deposed President Omar al-Bashir that began in December 2018, have been central to organizing despite the arrests of key politicians.
Bashir, who ran Sudan for nearly three decades, was forced out by the army following months of protests against his rule.
Protesters carried pictures of Burhan, his deputy General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, and Bashir covered in red.
“Close a street, close a bridge, Burhan we’re coming straight to you,” they chanted.
Dagalo commands the feared Rapid Support Forces, a paramilitary unit that controls the streets of the capital of Khartoum and played a major role in the coup.
Burhan has said he removed the cabinet to avert civil war after civilian politicians stoked hostility to the armed forces.
However, the takeover came less than a month before he was to have handed power over to a civilian.
Burhan installed himself as head of a military council that will rule Sudan until elections in July 2023. In an interview with Russia’s state-owned Sputnik news agency published Friday, Burhan said he would soon name a new premier who will form a Cabinet that is to share leadership of the country with the armed forces.
Observers say it’s doubtful the military will allow a full transition to civilian rule, if only to block civilian oversight of the military’s large financial holdings.
The United States and the World Bank have already frozen assistance to Sudan, where an economic crisis has seen shortages of food and medicine and where nearly a third of the population are in need of urgent humanitarian support.

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