In Sudan, tear gas fired at anti-coup protesters

Opponents of the junta in Sudan continue to challenge the coup plotters. Thousands of Sudanese are demonstrating on Saturday, December 25, in Khartoum and its suburbs but also in other cities against the military power, witnesses reported. Sudanese security forces fire tear gas canisters in an attempt to repel the thousands of opponents who approach the presidential palace.

From the early hours of the day, the authorities tried to lock down the country: first, the mobile Internet disappeared, then the telephone communications no longer worked and the demonstrators, who planned to come from the different neighborhoods and suburbs to the presidential palace, discovered that during the night cranes had come to deposit huge containers across the bridges spanning the Nile.

Despite a security grid of the capital unprecedented for weeks, two months to the day after the coup d’etat of General Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Al-Bourhane, new processions converged on the presidential palace in Khartoum, seat of the transitional authorities headed by the general, or in Wad Madani, 200 kilometers south of the Sudanese capital.

The crowd is now only about fifty meters from the Khartoum Palace, where the transitional authorities headed by General Bourhane sit. Protesters were evacuating the wounded after the tear gas canisters were fired, according to a journalist from Agence France-Presse.

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Forty-eight protesters killed

On the eve of this new mobilization to the cry of slogans “No negotiation” with the army and “The soldiers at the barracks! “, the governorate of Khartoum warned: all the bridges on the Nile were closed Friday evening and the security forces “Deal with those who break the law and create chaos”.

In his press release, he warns that “Approaching or attacking buildings of strategic sovereignty is punishable by law”. Since October 25, forty-eight demonstrators have been killed in the repression of a popular movement which obtained from the army in 2019 the dismissal of the dictator Omar Al-Bashir and now intends to put an end to the military in power.

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Less than a week ago, for the third anniversary of the launch of the “revolution” which in 2019 forced the army to end thirty years of the military-Islamist dictatorship of Omar Al-Bashir, supporters of a civil power had shown that they could still mobilize. That day, the security forces fired live ammunition, rained tear gas canisters on the hundreds of thousands of them who took to the streets and even used, according to the UN, a weapon already used in Darfur in war: rape.

On Saturday, the authorities had recourse to another major tool: as during nearly a month after the putsch, they cut the Sudanese people off from the world. “Freedom of expression is a fundamental right and this includes full access to the Internet”, has already protested the UN envoy, Volker Perthes, recalling that “No one should be arrested for having intended to demonstrate”. Activists have been reporting roundups since Friday evening in their ranks.

Fearing a new outbreak of violence, the pro-democracy doctors’ union which has identified the victims of the repression since 2018 said “Ask the world to watch what will happen”, while activists are struggling to get images out of the country via activists from the diaspora.

Apparently, after his putsch denounced by the whole world or almost, General Bourhane restored the civilian prime minister, Abdallah Hamdok, but Sudan still has no government, a sine qua non for the resumption of international aid, vital for this country, one of the poorest in the world.

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In addition, he promises the first free elections for decades in July 2023, without convincing the supporters of a solely civilian power in the country, under the rule of the army almost without interruption in sixty-five years of independence. They have already announced that they will demonstrate again on December 30. Sudan is stuck in political stagnation and inflation over 300%.

The World with AFP

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In Sudan, tear gas fired at anti-coup protesters