December 31, 2018
KHARTOUM – Thousands of Sudanese took to the street of Khartoum and other cities calling on President Omer al-Bashir and his government to leave in continuation of the protest movement that began 12 days ago.
The riot police used the tear gas and live ammunition to disperse the protesters who massively participated in the demonstrations. Also, an undetermined number of protesters injured by bullets were transported to the hospitals as activists kept feeding the social media with pictures and videos about the event.
The centre of Khartoum, which was supposed to be the starting point of the peaceful demonstration, was transformed into a military barracks since Monday morning. Police and security forces were deployed along the streets around the area. Shops were closed and cars were banned from parking. Also, heavily armed police in uniform and security agents in plain closes were deployed in the downtown.
However, hundreds of defiant demonstrators gathered as planned around the Gandoul Circus where the police vehicles and security forces were massed in large number.
The police started to clear the area when the demonstrators launched their protests, as a result, they marched in several main streets converging in the place.
The protests started on 19 December in Atbara in response to the increase in bread price and the difficult living conditions but very quickly sparked in other cities across the country demanding al-Bashir to step down.
Eyewitnesses told Sudan Tribune that the police fired volleys of tear gas into the crowds and live bullets. Also, the security forces arrested hundreds of protesters including women and girls.
Activists released videos showing a young man shot in the head and another wounded in the leg. Also, a third video showed a protester shot in the head too.
Among the arrested women was Zeinab Sadiq al-Mahdi, the daughter of Sadiq al-Mahdi, the leader of the National Umma Party.
The association of professionals which appealed to the Monday’s protest issued a statement in the evening calling to keep demonstrating until Tuesday morning.
“We call to keep demonstrating every day because this will accelerate the achievement of our desired goal: the removal of al-Bashir and his regime,” further said the statement.
The coalition of Sudanese professionals condemned the use of live bullets and excessive force, pointing that it happened despite the international warning against the use of violence at peaceful protests.
For his part, the Sudanese Congress Party (SCoP) Secretary General Khalid Youssef said Monday’s protests proved the victorious determination of the Sudanese people and pointed to the significant demonstrators in Madani, Sennar, Halfa and other cities.
The same for the Sudanese Communist Party which praised the high popular participation in the demonstration and called for a better organization in the upcoming protests.
– Sudan Tribune (ST)