Sudan police break up protests as Bashir backers plan rally

2019-01-06 19:12
Omar al-Bashir (Picture: AFP)

Omar al-Bashir (Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Riot police fired tear gas Sunday at protesters in Sudan's capital planning to march on the presidential palace, witnesses said, as backers of President Omar al-Bashir announced their own rally for next week.

Deadly anti-government protests have rocked Sudanese cities including Khartoum since December 19, when unrest first broke out over a government decision to raise the price of bread.

Authorities say at least 19 people including two security personnel have been killed in clashes during the demonstrations so far, but rights group Amnesty International has put the death toll at 37.

On Sunday, crowds of protesters gathered in areas of downtown Khartoum after a group organising anti-government rallies called for a march on the palace.

But riot police were quick to move in and disperse the protesters with tear gas, witnesses said.

"Police are not even allowing 10 people to gather," a witness told AFP.

Video footage posted on social media networks showed protesters fleeing down streets and alleyways in the downtown area trying to escape the noxious gas.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook.

The Sudanese Professionals' Association, a group of doctors, teachers and engineers, had called Saturday for the march after organising similar rallies in recent weeks.

"We will march on the palace on Sunday calling for President Bashir to step down," the association said in a statement.

As protesters attempted the march, Sudan's Labour Minister Bahar Idris announced that a pro-government rally would be held Wednesday at Khartoum's Green Yard, a large open ground in the capital.

The rally would express "the choice of the Sudanese people and address the present crisis", Idris, a former rebel from war-torn Darfur, told reporters at a press conference.

Wednesday's rally would be the first pro-regime demonstration since anti-government protests erupted last month.

Anti-government rallies on Sunday also broke out in the city of Madani southeast of the capital, witnesses said, with demonstrators chanting for "peace, justice, freedom".

Economic crisis

A separate protest was held in the northern town of Atbara, where the current unrest first erupted on December 19.

Witnesses said the local market in Atbara was shut down as protesters took to the streets.

Sudanese authorities have launched a crackdown on opposition leaders, activists and journalists to prevent the spread of protests that initially broke out outside of Khartoum.

The country has been facing a mounting economic crisis over the past year led by an acute shortage of foreign currency.

The cost of some commodities including medicines has more than doubled and inflation has hit 70 percent.

Food and fuel shortages have been regularly reported across several cities, including Khartoum.

Read more on:    omar al-bashir  |  sudan  |  east africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.