Sudanese army launches tear gas grenades at anti-coup protesters in Khartoum

Sudanese security forces detained dozens of protesters on Sunday and dispersed demonstrations with tear gas grenades, on the first day of a new civil disobedience campaign against the army, which came to power after the October 25 coup.

Opponents have been in resistance since the dissolution of all the country’s institutions and the arrest of civilians by General Abdel Fattah al Burhan, head of the military.

After a first mobilization on the same day of the coup, the unions and other organizations again asked the Sudanese to take to the streets on Sunday (the first day of the week in Sudan) and Monday, to show their discontent.

Hundreds of people demonstrated in Wad Madani (south) and Atbara (north of the country) shouting “No to military power”, and dozens of teachers marched towards the Ministry of Education in Khartoum in a “silent protest against the decisions of the General Burhan, “Mohammed al Amin, a geography professor, told AFP.

“The police arrived and fired tear gas grenades at us, even though we were only there with our banners against the military regime,” he added.

According to the teachers’ union, 87 protesters were arrested and a teacher broke her leg during the dispersal.

Hours later, a procession of hundreds of people shouting “the people chose civilians” in the al Bourri neighborhood, east of Khartoum, was dismantled with tear gas.

– “Neither dialogue nor negotiation” –

Since October 25, the soldiers have detained most of the civilian leaders, a list of detainees that continues to grow: politicians, military active in social networks, young people erecting barricades, high officials or simple passers-by, arrested without warrant judicial.

At night, protesters had blocked roads with bricks and stones, while shops remain closed.

The University of Khartoum, where students were beaten by the military even in their dormitories on the day of the coup, announced an unlimited strike. In the east, the University of the Red Sea suspended its courses for “the safety of the students.”

Between “general strikes” and massive demonstrations, the Sudanese (who forced the army to dismiss the dictator Omar al Bashir in 2019), want to have weight in the closed-door negotiations between the military, civilian leaders and local and international mediators “with the army , as it could be read in the communiqués spread by SMS, before the internet cut-off for 14 days.

– International concern –

The army wants to form a new government that is more favorable to its political and economic interests, some analysts say. But the deposed prime minister, Abdullah Hamdok, in house arrest, and the few ministers who remain at large, are calling for a return to the situation before October 25.

Negotiators from the Arab League, South Sudan and the UN multiply meetings with both sides.

And progress looks complicated: the UN representative in Sudan, Volker Perthes, was outraged on Thursday by the arrest by the army, at the very door of his office, of politicians who were going to meet him.

On Thursday, the army released four ministers, but General Burhan intends to try those still in custody.

The “Troika” that coordinates the Sudanese dossier (made up of the United States, the United Kingdom and Norway) met with recently released civilian leaders on Sunday, claiming to find them in “good health.”

The coup and repression (which left 14 protesters dead, according to doctors) have earned Sudan a series of international convictions, as well as its suspension from the African Union and major cuts in international aid.

On Wednesday, more than a week after the coup, Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, close to the army, called for “the immediate restoration” of the civilian government. Egypt, its influential neighbor, does not take a position.


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