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One more killed as Sudanese demand justice for post-coup crackdown victims

By AFP
Sudan Sudanese in Khartoum demonstrated for civilian rule and demanded justice for the more than 70 killed since the country's latest military coup.  By - AFP
JAN 24, 2022 LISTEN
Sudanese in Khartoum demonstrated for civilian rule and demanded justice for the more than 70 killed since the country's latest military coup. By - (AFP)

Sudanese gathered to demand justice Monday for the scores killed in a months-long crackdown since a military coup -- then one more was shot dead, according to medics.

The latest protester to die was killed by security forces during a demonstration in the capital Khartoum by thousands calling for civilian rule, they said.

An October 25 coup led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan derailed a transition to civilian rule that had been painstakingly negotiated after the 2019 ouster of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir.

According to the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors, the protester, who has not yet been identified, was "directly hit by a live bullet to the chest."

The latest death brings to 74 the number of people killed in the crackdown on anti-coup demonstrations, the medics said, despite condemnation by United States officials last week "of disproportionate force against protesters".

As they do routinely, security forces also fired tear gas on Monday at the protesting crowds.

Many people were seen suffering breathing difficulties while others were bleeding after they were hit by tear gas canisters, an AFP correspondent said.

The pro-democracy Doctors' Committee said security forces used "excessive violence" to quell the protests in Khartoum and its twin city of Omdurman.

Protests were also held in the Red Sea city of Port Sudan, as well as the eastern state of Gedaref, according to witnesses.

"No, no to military rule," and "civilian (rule) is the people's choice" protesters shouted in Wad Madani, south of the capital, according to witness Emad Mohamed.

Sudan's authorities have repeatedly denied using live ammunition against demonstrators, and insist scores of security personnel have been wounded during protests.

A police general was stabbed to death during the unrest earlier this month.

Mass arrests

Map of the Sudanese capital of Khartoum..  By  AFP Map of the Sudanese capital of Khartoum.. By (AFP)

On Sunday, one of the country's longstanding political parties, Umma, vowed "to remove all traces of the coup".

It, however, warned that the "coup leadership" will "persist with its brutality and come up with new ways to commit violent massacres and launch mass arrests of revolutionaries."

Hundreds of pro-democracy activists have been arrested in the crackdown on anti-coup activists.

On Saturday, a leading women's rights activist Amira Othman was arrested following a raid on her home in Khartoum, according to a statement by the "No to Women's Oppression" initiative which she leads.

UN special representative Volker Perthes said her "arrest and pattern of violence against women's rights activists severely risks reducing their political participation."

Other activists from the "resistance committees", informal groups which have been instrumental in organising anti-coup protests, were also detained late Sunday, according to members who requested anonymity fearing reprisals.

On Friday, Sudanese authorities requested delaying the arrival of the UN expert on human rights in Sudan, Adama Dieng, who was appointed in November and had been due to make his first official visit.

A Sudanese protester carries a placard which reads in Arabic, long live the struggle of women, they alone can break the silence of oppression.  By ASHRAF SHAZLY AFP A Sudanese protester carries a placard which reads in Arabic, "long live the struggle of women, they alone can break the silence of oppression". By ASHRAF SHAZLY (AFP)

Last week, senior US diplomats visited Sudan in a bid to bolster UN-led efforts to cajole the military into restoring a transition to full civilian rule.

Perthes earlier this month launched a bid for talks between various Sudanese factions in a push to resolve the crisis.

The ruling Sovereign Council -- formed by Burhan following the coup with himself as chairman -- has welcomed the UN-led dialogue, as have the United States, Britain, neighbouring Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

The Forces for Freedom and Change, Sudan's main civilian bloc, has also said it would join consultations "to restore the democratic transition".

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