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Sudan tightens crackdown on anti-coup protesters

December 25, 2021

Thousands of people have rallied in the capital to denounce the October military takeover, which upended Sudan's planned transition to democratic rule.

Protesters chant in Khartoum
Thousands of protesters rallied on Saturday in several Sudanese cities, two months after a military coupImage: Marwan Ali/AP/picture alliance

Sudanese security forces in the capital of Khartoum on Saturday fired tear gas to disperse thousands of demonstrators protesting against military rule.

Protesters reached the vicinity of the presidential palace for the second time in a week, the headquarters of the military government in control since General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan seized power on October 25.

Waving flags and beating drums, protesters demanded soldiers "go back to the barracks" and called for a transition to civilian rule.

Crowds chanted, danced and marched through the streets of Khartoum despite a heavy communications black out and deployment of security forces, who later fired tear gas to disperse them.

Security forces had warned protesters against approaching "sovereign and strategic" sites in central Khartoum, referring to government buildings.

Khartoum's state governor said security forces "will deal with those who break the law and create chaos," the state-run SUNA news agency reported.

Protests spread to other cities

Rallies were also taking place in the cities of Wad Madani, Atbara and Omdurman.

Authorities closed all bridges over the Nile River linking the capital with the city of Omdurman and the district of Bahri, the official SUNA news agency reported.

Saturday marked the 10th day of major demonstrations since the October coup, which toppled Sudan's planned transition to democratic rule.

Protests have continued even after Abdallah Hamdok was reinstated as prime minister last month.

At least 47 people have died and more than hundreds have been wounded in crackdowns during weeks of demonstrations, according to the independent Doctors' Committee.

mvb/aw (Reuters, AP, AFP)

Sudan protesters push for full civilian rule