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AFP
July 1, 2020

Protesters hit Sudan streets

World

AFP
July 1, 2020

KHARTOUM: Tens of thousands of Sudanese protesters took to the streets on Tuesday calling for reforms and demanding justice for those killed in anti-government demonstrations that ousted president Omar al-Bashir last year.

The protests in several cities and the capital Khartoum went ahead with security forces deployed in force and despite a tight curfew since April designed to curb the spread of coronavirus.

"Our demands are peace... and justice. We call for economic reform and appointment of civilian governors to states," said a protester in Burri, east of Khartoum. "This march is to put the revolution back on course, not to overthrow the government."

Many chanted the catchphrase of anti-Bashir protests: "Freedom, peace and justice". In Dongola, north of the capital, hundreds carried banners demanding "retribution" for demonstrators killed in clashes with security forces last year.

Similarly, in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur, demonstrators drapped in the Sudanese flag carried banners that read: "Retribution and peace." Protesters also gathered in Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman and Zalingei, the capital of Central Darfur.

At least 246 were killed and hundreds others wounded during the 2018-19 anti-government protests, according to doctors linked to Sudan’s protest movement. Tuesday’s rallies coincided with the 31st anniversary of the 1989 Islamist-backed military coup that brought Bashir to power.

Bashir was ousted by the military in April 2019 following months-long mass protests against his 30-year rule, in an uprising triggered by economic hardship. Sudan has since August been led by a civilian-majority administration presiding over a three-year transitional period.

The country is reeling from economic woes, largely blamed on Bashir-era policies. Since his ouster, the former strongman has been detained and he was handed a two-year prison sentence on corruption charges in December.

He faces separate charges over the deaths of protesters and the 1989 coup. Bashir is also been wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Darfur conflict.