Battles Erupt in Sudan’s Capital behind Bloodiest Day Since Coup
Street fighting rocked the Sudanese capital again a day after security forces shot and killed 15 protesters on the bloodiest day since the military took power on October 25.
Dozens of protesters returned that day to rebuild them and police again used tear gas to clear streets, witnesses said.
“The protesters reacted by throwing stones at the police,” said a witness from the AFP news agency Senior General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan arrested civilian leaders and declared a state of emergency on October 25.
The Sudanese military, led by al-Burhan, took power, dissolved the transitional government, arrested dozens of civilians and politicians, and declared a state of emergency The takeover undoes a fragile planned transition to democratic rule, more than two years after a popular uprising forced the overthrow of longtime leader Omar al-Bashir.
Last week, al-Burhan appointed a new ruling Council of Rulers to replace the country’s interim government, which is made up of civilian and military figures.
Al-Burhan insisted that the military move was “not a coup” but a step towards “improvising the transition” to civilian rule Thousands of people took to the streets in Khartoum and other cities on Wednesday but were met with the deadliest attack since the coup.
At least 15 people, mostly from northern Khartoum, were killed on Wednesday alone, according to medical professionals, bringing the number of protesters to 39 in recent weeks.
“We condemn violence against peaceful protesters and call for respect and protection of human rights in Sudan,” the US State Department’s Office of African Affairs said on Twitter Wednesday.
Wednesday’s demonstrations were held despite almost completely shutting down internet services and telephone line disruptions in Sudan.
In a statement, the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors (CCSD) said security forces “used heavy shells in various parts of the capital” and there were “dozens of gunshot wounds, some in serious condition”.
The CCSD also said security forces had arrested the injured at the hospital in Khartoum Phone lines were restored on Thursday morning, but Internet service remained largely uninterrupted.
Bridges linking the capital with neighboring cities have reopened and traffic has begun to flow on many roads in Khartoum.
The military takeover has sparked international condemnation, including cuts to criminal aid, with world powers pushing for an immediate return to civilian rule The United States suspended about $700 million in aid to Sudan in response to the coup.
Since then, despite internet outages and disruptions to communication lines, protesters have rallied, forcing activists to use graffiti and text messages to spread protest calls More than 100 officials and politicians, as well as scores of protesters and activists, were arrested after last month’s coup.
Pro-democracy groups have vowed to continue protesting until the final Sovereign Council returns.
In an interview earlier this month, al-Burhan said he was determined to hand power to a civilian government and vowed not to join any government that comes after a transitional period. But last week he announced himself as head of the new Sovereign Council.