Sudan police fire tear gas, disperse protests over soldiers' retirement

A Sudanese protester carries a national flag as others burn tyres in the centre of the capital Khartoum during a demonstration calling for the reinstatement of soldiers who were forced into retirement after they voiced support for last year's revolution. (AFP)
A Sudanese protester carries a national flag as others burn tyres in the centre of the capital Khartoum during a demonstration calling for the reinstatement of soldiers who were forced into retirement after they voiced support for last year's revolution. (AFP)

Sudanese police fired tear gas Thursday at hundreds of protesters in Khartoum calling for the reinstatement of soldiers forced into retirement after having voiced support for last year's revolution.

The protesters, mostly youths, gathered near the presidential palace carrying Sudanese flags and signs reading "The army is Sudan's army" and "Don't dismiss the army's free men".

They burned tyres and blocked roads, before police fired tear gas to disperse them, an AFP correspondent said.

Earlier this week, the military published a list of officers of various ranks who had been forced into retirement.

Army spokesman Brigadier Amer Muhammad al-Hassan, quoted by state news agency SUNA, said the list was issued "as usual at the beginning of each new year".

Hassan told AFP that the army's code of conduct bars soldiers from taking part in political activities.

"There's no place in the armed forces for anyone who is promoting any political activity. This is a directive from the leadership," said Hassan.

But activists launched a social media campaign backing sidelined Lieutenant Mohammad al-Sadiq, who had voiced support for their campaign from the outset in December 2018 over soaring bread prices.

The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), the umbrella group which led mass street protests that led to president Omar al-Bashir's downfall in April, organised Thursday's demonstration.

SPA on its Facebook page condemned the police's "excessive use of force and repression" and urged Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok to immediately fire the interior minister and senior police officials.

Bashir's ouster after 30 years in power led to months of talks that eventually produced a transitional government comprised of civilian and military officials.

Months of anti-Bashir protests triggered clashes with security forces that left dozens dead, hundreds wounded and thousands jailed

Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Have you downloaded the Covid-19 tracing app?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes I have
14% - 1576 votes
No, and I will not be downloading it
76% - 8517 votes
Not yet, but I plan to
9% - 1052 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
16.97
(+0.13)
ZAR/GBP
21.79
(+0.53)
ZAR/EUR
19.91
(-0.16)
ZAR/AUD
12.08
(-0.03)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(+0.53)
Gold
1886.00
(+0.22)
Silver
23.83
(+0.41)
Platinum
879.00
(-0.06)
Brent Crude
42.88
(+1.08)
Palladium
2311.50
(+2.61)
All Share
54482.89
(-0.43)
Top 40
50327.44
(-0.50)
Financial 15
10009.18
(+0.78)
Industrial 25
73317.54
(-0.91)
Resource 10
54063.26
(-0.56)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo