Police used tear gas on Sunday to disperse thousands of protesters who gathered for the fourth week to demand the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir, who has been in power for three decades.
Protests triggered by an economic crisis have rippled across Sudan since mid-December in the most sustained challenge yet to Bashir’s rule.
Demonstrations were held in Gadarif, Faw and Amri, as well in the western region
of Darfur, activists said, with eyewitnesses adding that police had broken up a 1,000-person strong demonstration in the northern Darfur town of el-Fasher.
The demonstrations in Darfur were sparked last month by the decision to triple the price of bread.
President Omar al-Bashir speaking at a Khartoum rally
‘Week of uprising’
The sub-Saharan nation has been suffering from economic difficulties that include an acute foreign currency shortage and soaring inflation, which is currently running at close to 70 percent. Shortages of fuel and food have hit several cities, including Khartoum.
Protest organizers have called for near daily demonstrations across the country against the president, calling it a “Week of Uprising.”
‘Peace, justice, freedom’
Some protesters carried national flags and chanted “peace, justice, freedom,” which has become a key slogan at the rallies, and “with our soul, with our blood, we sacrifice ourselves for you Sudan.”
Security forces have been accused by human rights groups of using live ammunition to break up demonstrations, as well as arresting protesters and opposition figures.
Last month, the United States, Britain, Norway and Canada said in a joint statement that they have “reliable reports” that Sudan’s security forces were using live fire.
A government committee recorded 24 deaths, however Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said that at least 40 have died. President Bashir is also wanted by the International Criminal Court for genocide in Darfur.
kw/jm (AP, AFP)
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