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AFP
January 14, 2019

Police fire teargas as protests erupt in Khartoum

World

AFP
January 14, 2019

KHARTOUM: Sudanese police fired tear gas Sunday at crowds of anti-government protesters in Khartoum and the western war-torn region of Darfur after organisers called for nationwide rallies against President Omar al-Bashir.

The demonstrations in Darfur were the first of their kind since unrest erupted last month over a government decision to triple the price of bread.The protests have since swiftly escalated into nationwide rallies widely seen as the biggest threat to Bashir’s rule in his three decades in power.

Protesters who took to the streets in the capital’s Bahari district chanting “peace, peace” and “revolution is the people’s choice” were quickly confronted by riot police, witnesses told AFP.Authorities say the protests have left 24 people dead, while Human Rights Watch has put the death toll at 40, including children and medical staff.

Protest organisers have called for near daily demonstrations across the country against Bashir this week, calling it a “Week of Uprising”.In Khartoum on Sunday protesters were seen carrying the Sudanese flag as others held banners bearing the words “peace, justice, freedom”, which has become a key slogan in the rallies. Witnesses told AFP that police were pursuing protesters down Bahari’s streets and alleys. “It’s like a cat and mouse game,” a witness said. Police arrested several protesters, witnesses said, as footage of the rally which could not be independently verified spread on social media networks.

Protests broke out in Darfur after calls for rallies there by the Sudanese Professionals’ Association, which has spearheaded the demonstrations.Police fired tear gas at demonstrators who took to the streets of El-Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state and in Niyala, the capital of South Darfur state, witnesses said. Darfur, a region the size of France, has been torn by violence since 2003 when ethnic minority rebels took up arms against Khartoum, accusing it of economic and political marginalisation.

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