Sudan armed forces fire tear gas

Troops have blocked bridges and roads in Khartoum as Sudan’s pro-democracy alliance hold mass protests against the military’s takeover.

Protests were held two days after coup leader Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan reappointed himself head of the Sovereign Council, Sudan's interim governing body.
Protests were held two days after coup leader Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan reappointed himself head of the Sovereign Council, Sudan’s interim governing body. (AFP)

Sudanese armed forces have fired tear gas at anti-coup demonstrators as hundreds rallied in and around the capital Khartoum.

At least one protester died on Saturday in the capital’s twin city of Omdurman during the crackdown by Sudanese forces, according to the Central Committee for Sudanese Doctors.

Military, police and paramilitary forces were deployed in large numbers in Khartoum and sealed off bridges connecting the capital to neighbouring cities.

They also blocked roads leading to the army headquarters in Khartoum, the site of a mass sit-in protest in 2019 that led to the ouster of former president Omar al Bashir, according to media reports.

“No, no to military rule”, “Civilian (rule) is the people’s choice”, and “Down with the entire council”, the protesters in southern Khartoum shouted.

Demonstrations are taking place two days after top general Abdel Fattah al Burhan named himself as the head of a new ruling Sovereign Council.

Thursday’s move angered the pro-democracy alliance and frustrated the US and other countries that have urged the generals to reverse their coup.

The military’s October 25 takeover drew widespread international condemnation and sparked street demonstrations.

Sudan’s military urged to release anti-coup detainees

UN calls for restraint

The United Nations called on Sudanese security forces to refrain from violence ahead of Saturday’s protests.

“In light of tomorrow’s demonstrations in #Sudan I once again call upon the security forces to exercise utmost restraint and respect the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression,” said UN Special Representative for Sudan Volker Perthes.

Saturday’s protests were called by the Sudanese Professionals’ Association and the so-called Resistance Committees.

Both groups were primary forces behind a popular the uprising against al Bashir in April 2019.

Other political parties and movements joined the call.

The committees have called for multiple protests since the coup and mobilised crowds via text messages as Sudan has largely remained under a rigorous internet outage with phone lines intermittently disrupted.

But despite the efforts, “civilian opposition to the coup has been diffuse and fragmented”, Jonas Horner of the International Crisis Group said in a report last week.

A crackdown on demonstrations so far has left dead at least 15 people, according to an independent union of medics, leading to punitive measures by the international community.

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