Pro­test­ers hit Su­dan streets to de­mand re­forms, jus­tice

Arab News - - News Internatio­nal - AFP

Tens of thou­sands of Su­danese pro­test­ers took to the streets on Tues­day call­ing for re­forms and de­mand­ing jus­tice for those killed in anti-gov­ern­ment demon­stra­tions that ousted pres­i­dent Omar Bashir last year.

The protests in sev­eral cities and the cap­i­tal Khar­toum went ahead with se­cu­rity forces de­ployed in force and de­spite a tight cur­few since April de­signed to curb the spread of coro­n­avirus.

“Our de­mands are peace ... and jus­tice. We call for eco­nomic re­form and ap­point­ment of civil­ian gover­nors to states,” said a pro­tester in Burri, east of Khar­toum.

“This march is to put the revo­lu­tion back on course, not to over­throw the gov­ern­ment.”

Many chanted the catch­phrase of anti-Bashir protests: “Free­dom, peace and jus­tice.”

In Don­gola, north of the cap­i­tal, hun­dreds car­ried ban­ners de­mand­ing “ret­ri­bu­tion” for demon­stra­tors killed in clashes with se­cu­rity forces last year.

Sim­i­larly, in Nyala, the cap­i­tal of South Dar­fur, demon­stra­tors draped in the Su­danese flag car­ried ban­ners that read: “Ret­ri­bu­tion and peace.”

Pro­test­ers also gath­ered in Khar­toum’s twin city of Om­dur­man and Zalingei, the cap­i­tal of Cen­tral Dar­fur.

At least 246 were killed and hun­dreds others wounded dur­ing the 2018-19 anti-gov­ern­ment protests, ac­cord­ing to doc­tors linked to Su­dan’s protest move­ment. Tues­day’s ral­lies co­in­cided with the 31st an­niver­sary of the 1989 mil­i­tary coup that brought Bashir to power.

Bashir was ousted by the mil­i­tary in April 2019 fol­low­ing months-long mass protests against his 30-year rule, in an up­ris­ing trig­gered by eco­nomic hard­ship.

Su­dan has since Au­gust been led by a civil­ian-ma­jor­ity ad­min­is­tra­tion pre­sid­ing over a three-year tran­si­tional pe­riod.

The coun­try is reel­ing from eco­nomic woes, largely blamed on Bashir-era poli­cies. Since his ouster, the former strong­man has been de­tained and he was handed a two-year prison sen­tence on cor­rup­tion charges in De­cem­ber.

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