Sudan.. High death toll from demonstrations and security forces extend the closure of bridges in Khartoum
The death toll from the demonstrations rejecting the announcement of the agreement between the President of the Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan and Prime Minister Abdel Hamdok rose to 5, while the security extended the closure of bridges in Khartoum, in anticipation of the demonstrations calling for a return to civilian rule, amid international condemnation of the killing of demonstrators by the security forces.
Sudanese sources said that the security forces extended the closure of bridges in the capital, with the exception of Halfaya and Soba bridges, until next Saturday.
According to those sources, the extension of this closure is due to the security authorities’ concerns about the outbreak of violence, and the organization of new demonstrations coinciding with the end of the year.
Yesterday’s events dominated the Sudanese scene, with the announcement of the killing of 5 protesters, and the injury of about 300, in addition to dozens of Sudanese security forces.
The Sudanese Professionals Association described what happened as the massacre and pledged to continue the protest movements, and its adherence to transferring power to what it called the forces of the revolution, and opening the way for a civil and democratic Sudan, as he put it.
Witnesses told Reuters that security forces fired tear gas and stun grenades as protesters in Khartoum and the neighboring cities of Omdurman and Bahri headed towards the presidential palace.
And the police said in a statement, earlier today, Friday, that 4 people were killed in Omdurman, and 297 demonstrators and 49 members of the police forces were injured in nationwide demonstrations against the military rule, yesterday, Thursday, in which tens of thousands participated.
Sudanese citizens marched after Friday prayers in the city of Omdurman – the stronghold of the Sudanese Umma Party supporters – to condemn the killing of demonstrators in yesterday’s protests.
The demonstrators demanded that those involved in the events be held accountable, and that the military be removed from power.
For its part, the Popular Congress Party in Sudan demanded, today, Friday, the immediate abolition of the state of emergency, and an end to violations and repression in the face of demonstrations in the country.
The party – founded by the late Islamic thinker Hassan al-Turabi – called in a statement for the immediate abolition of the state of emergency, the provision of free peaceful expression, and the cessation of all forms of violations and repression in the face of peaceful expression.
He condemned what he described as a campaign of arbitrary arrests and attacks on media professionals in an attempt to silence their voice by force, and demanded that the Sudanese authorities immediately stop the violations, urgently investigate the facts and bring the aggressors to trial, according to the statement.
At the international level, the European Union strongly condemned the deaths of demonstrators at the hands of security forces in the demonstrations yesterday.
The union said, in a statement, that the continuation of the campaign against the media and attacks on hospitals is unacceptable.
He pointed out that more than a month after the signing of the political declaration between Al-Burhan and Hamdok, no credible investigations had been conducted into the deaths that occurred.
As for the head of the United Nations Mission to Support the Transition in Sudan, Volker Perthes, he expressed his concern about the killing of demonstrators and the attack on press freedom.
The US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, had expressed his dissatisfaction with the reports he received of the Sudanese security forces using lethal force against protesters, blocking the internet, and trying to shut down the media.
Blinken added – in a tweet on Twitter – that the United States stands by the Sudanese people in their demand for freedom, peace and justice.
Since last October 25, Sudan has witnessed protests rejecting exceptional measures, including declaring a state of emergency, dissolving the Sovereignty Councils and transitional ministers, dismissing Hamdok, and arresting party leaders and officials, within measures described by political forces as a military coup.
On November 21, Al-Burhan and Hamdok signed a political agreement that includes the return of Hamdok to his position, the formation of a government of competencies, the release of political detainees, and the two parties pledge to work together to complete the democratic path.
However, political and civil forces expressed their rejection of the agreement as an attempt to legitimize what they describe as a coup, pledging to continue protests until full civilian rule is achieved.