Fresh clashes rock Sudan's capital as anti-coup protests continue

2021-11-18 22:29:44
Fresh clashes rock Sudan's capital as anti-coup protests continue

Renewed clashes between Sudanese forces and anti-coup protesters have continued in the country's capital, Khartoum, just a day after 15 protesters were killed in a brutal crackdown, marking the deadliest day in the African country since a military takeover last month.

Police on Thursday fired tear gas canisters at anti-coup protesters to disperse crowds of them who had stayed on the streets of north Khartoum overnight despite an escalating crackdown that has drawn international outcry.

Police flattened makeshift barricades that protesters had put up on Wednesday, when security forces shot dead at least 15 protesters, most of them in north Khartoum, raising the toll since the coup to 39.

Over 100 other demonstrators were wounded, including 80 who sustained gunshots to their upper bodies and heads.

Protesters rally despite a near-total shutdown of internet services and the disruption of telephone lines across Sudan.

Later on Thursday, dozens of protesters came back to rebuild the demolished barricades, prompting police to once again fire teargas in a bid to clear the streets.

“Protesters responded by hurling stones at the police,” one protester said.

More than two years ago, massive anti-government demonstrations, mostly over deteriorating economic problems, hit Sudan, with protesters, mostly the youth, demanding then President Omar al-Bashir step down.

Bashir was ultimately deposed through a military coup following months of protests in April 2019, after ruling over the country for three decades. In August that year, a governing council comprised of civilian and military leaders, was founded to run the country. The transitional civilian-military administration, Sudan’s highest executive authority, is tasked with leading the country to free and fair multiparty elections.

However, a military coup, led by Sudan's military chief and de-facto leader General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, was staged on October 25 that dissolved the fragile government. Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was detained and put under house arrest in a move that infuriated the Sudanese and drew international condemnation, including from the UN Security Council. Other civilian leaders are in military detention.

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