Health

Three protesters shot dead in Sudan anti-military rallies

At least 60 people have died and many more have been
wounded in crackdowns on demonstrations since a coup in October that
interrupted efforts to bring about democratic change, according to a group of
medics aligned with the protest movement.

The people killed on Thursday were all protesters and
died from shots fired by security personnel during rallies in the cities of
Omdurman and Bahri, across the River Nile from Khartoum, the Central Committee
of Sudanese Doctors said.

Protesters attempted once again to reach the presidential
palace in the capital to keep up pressure on the military, whose coup halted a
power-sharing arrangement negotiated after the 2019 overthrow of Omar
al-Bashir.

The military has justified the coup as a
“correction” needed to stabilise the transition. They have said
peaceful protests are permitted and those responsible for causing casualties
will be held to account.

In Omdurman, where several protesters have been killed
in the past week, a protester said that security forces fired live rounds and
tear gas, and ran over several protesters with armoured vehicles.

“There was incredible violence today, the
situation in Omdurman has become very difficult. Our friends have died, this
situation can’t please God,” he said, asking not to be named as some protesters
have been arrested in recent days.

Khartoum State’s health ministry said security forces
raided Arbaeen Hospital in Omdurman, attacking medical staff and injuring
protesters, and said the forces besieged Khartoum Teaching Hospital and fired
tear gas inside it.

In Bahri, a witness saw forces use heavy tear gas and
stun grenades, with some canisters landing on houses and a school as protesters
were prevented from reaching the bridge to Khartoum.

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In a statement, Sudanese police said, “The
demonstrations witnessed a deviation from peacefulness and cases of aggression
and violence by some demonstrators towards the forces present,” citing a
number of injuries among police and armed forces.

The statement also said that three people had been
arrested for the killing of two citizens in Omdurman and that 60 suspects were
arrested overall.

As in previous demonstrations, mobile phone and
internet services were largely cut from late morning, Reuters journalists and
Netblocks, an internet blockage observatory, said.

Most bridges connecting Khartoum with Bahri and
Omdurman were closed. Images of protests in other cities including Gadarif,
Kosti and Madani were posted on social media.

KEPT BACK FROM THE PALACE

The Forces of Freedom and Change coalition, which had
been sharing power with the military before the coup, called on the UN Security
Council to carry out an investigation on what it described as intentional
killings and raids of hospitals.

In Khartoum, protesters tried to reach the
presidential palace but security forces advanced toward them, firing frequent
volleys of tear gas, according to a Reuters witness.

Some protesters wore gas masks, while many wore
medical masks and other face coverings and several brought hard hats and gloves
in order to throw back tear gas canisters.

Protesters barricaded roads with rocks, bricks, and
branches as they marched towards downtown Khartoum and security forces
approached from more than one side.

Motorcycles and rickshaws could be seen taking away
protesters who were injured or had fainted.

The protests, the first of several rounds of
demonstrations planned for this month, come four days after Abdalla Hamdok
resigned as prime minister.

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Hamdok became prime minister in 2019 and oversaw major
economic reforms before being deposed in the coup and returning in a failed bid
to salvage the power-sharing arrangement.

“We came out today to get those people out. We
don’t want them running our country,” said Mazin, a protester living in
Khartoum, referring to the military.

Hamdok’s return and resignation did not matter, he
said, adding, “We are going to continue regardless.”

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