Forces clash with pro­test­ers in 3 Su­danese cities

The Gulf Today - - MIDDLE EAST -

su­danese se­cu­rity forces clashed with pro­test­ers in three cities on Sun­day as de­mon­stra­tions against Omar Al Bashir’s rule con­tin­ued for a fourth week, wit­nesses said.

Images cir­cu­lated by ac­tivists on­line showed marches tak­ing place in Khartoum and its north­ern twin cities of Om­dur­man and Ba­hary, de­spite se­cu­rity forces ir­ing tear gas at the crowds. one group, hun­dreds strong, ap­peared to have reached Ba­hary’s main train sta­tion.

Se­cu­rity forces en­cir­cled the area and ired in the air to dis­perse crowds around the sta­tion, the main rally point for a gath­er­ing called by protest groups, pro­fes­sion­alas­so­ci­a­tions and po­lit­i­cal op­po­si­tion. Shops in the area have been al­most en­tirely shut­tered, eye­wit­nesses said, and crowds con­tin­ued to gather.

Pro­test­ers burnt tyres to ob­scure the view of po­lice­men chas­ing them down, in a cat-and-mouse game that lasted un­til after dark. Wit­nesses said se­cu­rity forces were break­ing into lo­cal homes and busi­nesses in pur­suit of demon­stra­tors tak­ing refuge there.

“The peo­ple want the fall of the regime,” chanted a crowd in the area.

In Khartoum North, across the Blue Nile from the cen­tre of the cap­i­tal, se­cu­rity forces chased groups of pro­test­ers down side streets and ired tear gas to dis­perse de­mon­stra­tions in sev­eral ar­eas, a Reuters wit­ness said. they also con­fronted pro testers with tear gas in Wad Medani, the cap­i­tal of Gezira state, south­east of the cap­i­tal, and for the irst time in Nyala, the main city in South Dar­fur, wit­nesses said.

Protests trig­gered by an eco­nomic cri­sis have rip­pled across Su­dan since Dec.19 in the most sus­tained chal­lenge yet to bash ir’ s close to 30-year rule.

Se­cu­rity forces have used live am­muni- tion and tear gas to break up de­mon­stra­tions, as well as ar­rest­ing pro­test­ers and op­po­si­tion ig­ures.

A gov­ern­ment fact-in­d­ing com­mit­tee has recorded 24 deaths and Amnesty In­ter­na­tional has said that at least 40 have died. Ofi­cials have blamed the protests on “in­il­tra­tors” and said they are work­ing to ad­dress eco­nomic prob­lems.

In khartoum north on sun­day hun­dreds of peo­ple braved a heavy se­cu­rity pres­ence to protest de­spite po­lice and other se­cu­rity per­son­nel try­ing to clear the area ahead of the rally.

Some car­ried na­tional lags and were chant­ing “free­dom, free­dom” and “with our soul, with our blood, we sac­ri­ice our­selves for you Su­dan.” “We will con­tinue to demon­strate un­til Bashir falls ... the coun­try needs change,” one 36-year-old pro­tester told Reuters.

Agence France-presse

Anti-gov­ern­ment demon­stra­tors shout slo­gans in Khartoum on Sun­day.

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