Tuesday, 16 July, 2019

Protests mark deadly Sudan crackdown

Sudanese demonstrators chant slogans outside the army headquarters Sudan Protesters Rally 40 Days After Sit-In Dispersal
Patty Aguilar | 14 July, 2019, 15:58

Tens of thousands demonstrated in cities across Sudan on Saturday, witnesses said, to mark 40 days since security forces killed dozens when they stormed a protest camp in the capital Khartoum.

Sudanese protesters shout slogans as they march during a demonstration against the military council, in Khartoum, Sudan on June 30, 2019.

The deal is meant to break the political deadlock that has gripped the country following the overthrow of autocratic President Omar al-Bashir in April and led the deaths of scores of protesters.

Demonstrators who had camped outside military headquarters for weeks demanding civilian rule were shot and beaten, triggering worldwide outrage.

David Shinn, former deputy chief of mission at U.S. embassy in Sudan, said that the coup attempt was not "too surprising". "We want civilian rule now", said Abdelqadir Omar, an English teacher at a rally in the Al-Sahafa area of the capital.

Earlier, security forces had closed all roads leading to the presidential palace and deployed along the road leading to the airport.

Chanting "Blood for blood, we won't accept compensations", crowds of protesters marched through the main streets of the Red Sea coastal city of Port Sudan, and central cities of Madani and Al-Obeid, witnesses said.

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Sudan's military on 11 April deposed Bashair amidst nationwide protests which began in December spearheaded by the opposition.

Many protesters reportedly carried banners that read: "Justice for Martyrs" while others held photographs of demonstrators killed in the June 3 raid.

Tension between the two sides had soared after the raid but following intense mediation by African Union and Ethiopian mediators, a power-sharing deal was reportedly reached earlier this month to set up a joint civilian-military governing body. At least 11 people were killed in clashes with security forces, according to protest organizers.

The new governing body aims to install a transitional civilian administration for a period of just over three years. "What between us is a real and important partnership to bring Sudan out to safety and ensure that no problems will occur", said Mohamed Hamdan Daqlu, the TMC's deputy chairman, when addressing a popular rally in Nahr al-Neel State, north of the capital Khartoum Saturday.

The news was announced as military and civilian leaders met at a Khartoum hotel to discuss details of last week's power-sharing agreement.

Later on Saturday the protest leaders and generals were scheduled to hold more talks on the finer details of the blueprint, mediators said, before it is formally signed in the coming days.

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