Security forces fire tear gas at post-coup protesters in Khartoum

Sudanese security forces fired tear gas and used stun grenades to try and break up demonstrations by hundreds of thousands of people in the capital Khartoum on Sunday over the October 25 military coup.

Protests against the coup have continued even after the reinstatement of the prime minister last month, with demonstrators demanding no military involvement at all in government.

Demonstrators on Sunday marched towards the presidential palace, marking the third anniversary of protests that touched off a popular uprising which led to the overthrow of long-ruling Islamist autocrat, Omar al-Bashir.

They gathered less than a kilometre (0.6 mile) from the palace, chanting “the people are stronger and retreat is impossible”. Some demonstrators ran into side streets to shield from the tear gas.

Despite security forces blocking bridges into the capital, protesters were able to cross a bridge connecting the city of Omdurman to central Khartoum, but were met with heavy tear gas, Reuters witnesses said.

Witnesses also told Reuters that protesters were trying to cross a bridge from Bahri, north of Khartoum, to the capital.

Demonstrations were also planned in other cities across the country, and images shared on social media showed protests beginning in cities, including Port Sudan on the Red Sea coast and El-Deain in the western region of Darfur.

On Saturday night, Prime Minister, Abdalla Hamdok, warned in a statement that Sudan’s revolution faced a major setback and that political intransigence from all sides threatened the country’s unity and stability. 

Security forces sealed off major roads leading to the airport and army headquarters, and security forces including joint army and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces were heavily deployed around the presidential palace.

Protesters blocked roads around the area where the demonstration was taking place. Some were carrying Sudanese flags and photos of protesters who were killed in demonstrations in the last few months. Others were handing out COVID-19 masks and carrying stretchers in anticipation of people being wounded.

It was the ninth in a series of demonstrations against the coup that have continued even after the military reinstated Hamdok, who had been under house arrest, on November 21 and released him and other high-profile political detainees.

The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors says 45 people have been killed in crackdowns on protesters since the coup. -Reuters

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