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Protesters dead as rallies rock Sudan

  • 25 Jan 2019

Since mid-December, the country has been rocked by popular protests where demonstrators seek President al Bashir’s resignation over his apparent failure to remedy the country’s chronic economic woes.

Sudanese demonstrators march during anti-government protests in Khartoum, Sudan. January 24, 2019. ( Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah / Reuters )

Thousands of people rallied across Sudan on Thursday calling on President Omar al Bashir to resign. At least two people were killed, one of them during the anti-government demonstrations. 

The east African nation has been rocked by more than a month of deadly protests triggered by the Bashir government's decision to triple the price of bread.

Protesters chanting the movement's slogan of "Freedom, peace, justice" have been confronted by a crackdown that has drawn international condemnation, including from the United States which has warned Sudan it could damage moves to improve their ties.

According to witnesses, protesters marched through several districts of the capital chanting anti-Bashir slogans, including “The people want the regime to fall”.

Social media activists, meanwhile, shared video appearing to show similar protests in Sudan’s northern cities of Abri and Al-Sukut.

Since mid-December, Sudan has been rocked by popular protests, with demonstrators decrying al-Bashir’s seeming failure to remedy the country’s chronic economic woes.

Death toll

The independent Sudanese Doctors' Central Committee said in a statement on Thursday that a university student died from torture in custody. There has been no official confirmation, however.

Another student, 24-year-old Abdulazim Abu Bakr, was shot in the chest during demonstrations in the capital Khartoum, the committee said.

At least 19 people have been killed in the protests, according to official accounts.

Earlier this month, al-Bashir — in power since 1989 — pledged to carry out urgent economic reforms amid continued calls by the opposition to protest.

A nation of 40 million, Sudan has struggled to recover from the loss of three-quarters of its oil output — its main source of foreign currency — since the secession of South Sudan in 2011.

The mushrooming demonstrations are widely seen as the biggest threat to Bashir's iron-fisted rule since taking power in a coup in 1989.

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