Saturday, July 4, 2020 | ePaper

Sudan police fire tear gas as civil disobedience campaign begins

  • Print


Protesters gathered to build new roadblocks in Khartoum, but riot police fired tear gas at them.

AFP, Khartoum :
Sudanese police fired tear gas Sunday at protesters taking part in the first day of a civil disobedience campaign, called in the wake of a deadly crackdown on demonstrators.
Protesters gathered tyres, tree trunks and rocks to build new roadblocks in Khartoum's northern Bahari district, a witness told AFP, but riot police swiftly moved in and fired tear gas at them.
"Almost all internal roads of Bahari have roadblocks. Protesters are even stopping residents from going to work," said the witness.
The latest bid by demonstrators to close off streets in the capital comes nearly a week after a deadly raid on a sit-in outside army headquarters which left dozens dead.
The bloody crackdown prompted the Sudanese Professionals Association, which first launched protests against longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir in December, to announce a nationwide civil disobedience campaign starting Sunday.
The SPA said the movement will end only after the military rulers, who took over after Bashir's ouster two months ago, transfer power to a civilian government.
Khartoum residents have mostly remained indoors over the past few days and the downtown business district was largely shut on Sunday.
Several vehicles of the feared Rapid Support Forces (RSF), blamed by witnesses for Monday's killings, were seen moving across some parts of the capital loaded with machine guns.
Buses were not running in several districts, but private vehicles were ferrying passengers in some areas.
Airlines have scrapped most of their Sudan flights since the deadly raid and several passengers were left queueing outside Khartoum airport's departures terminal Sunday, although it was unclear whether any flights would take off.
In Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman, across the River Nile, many shops and markets remained closed but residents were seen buying staples in some grocery stores.
"Troops were also seen removing roadblocks from some streets in Omdurman," an onlooker said.
Residents have remained on edge since the raid on the sit-in, which killed at least 115 people according to doctors close to the demonstrators.
The health ministry says 61 people died nationwide in the crackdown, 49 of them by "live ammunition" in Khartoum. Witnesses say the assault was led by the RSF, who have their origins in the notorious Janjaweed militia, accused of abuses in the Darfur conflict between 2003 and 2004.
Demonstrators had been camped out for weeks in Khartoum to pressure the ruling generals into transferring power, but talks between protest leaders and the military broke down mid-May.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed travelled to Sudan on Friday in a bid to revive negotiations, holding separate meetings with the two sides after which he called for a "quick" democratic transition.
The call by the Sudanese Professionals Association, which first launched protests against longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir, came days after a bloody crackdown on demonstrators left dozens dead in Khartoum and crushed hopes for a swift democratic transition.
"The civil disobedience movement will begin Sunday and end only when a civilian government announces itself in power on state television," the SPA said in a statement.
"Disobedience is a peaceful act capable of bringing to its knees the most powerful weapons arsenal in the world."
It was still unclear how the campaign would unfold on the streets, especially in Khartoum where all key roads and squares have been deserted since Monday's crackdown.
Led by men in army fatigues, the raid on the weeks-long sit-in outside the army complex left at least 113 people dead, according to doctors close to the demonstrators.
The health ministry says 61 people died nationwide in the crackdown, 52 of them by "live ammunition" in Khartoum.

More News For this Category

Turkish court tries Saudis in absentia for Khashoggi killing

Turkish court tries Saudis in absentia for Khashoggi killing

Reuters, Istanbul :A Turkish court put 20 Saudi officials on trial in absentia on Friday for the gruesome killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi which sparked international outrage and tarnished

Dozens of civilians killed in Mali

Al Jazeera News :Dozens of civilians have been killed and others wounded in Mali's volatile centre when unidentified armed men on motorbikes attacked ethnic Dogon farming villages, according to

Death toll rises above 160 in Myanmar jade mine collapse

Death toll rises above 160 in Myanmar jade mine collapse

Reuters :The death toll in a landslide at a jade mine in northern Myanmar has risen above 160, with more feared dead, authorities said on Friday, as search efforts

Canadian man arrested after driving truck near Trudeau's gates

Canadian man arrested after driving truck near Trudeau's gates

Reuters, Ottawa :An armed member of the Canadian military drove a truck through gates protecting an exclusive part of Ottawa where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lives on Thursday but

Ghana minister resigns

Ghana minister resigns

Reuters :Ghana's deputy trade and industry minister Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah has resigned for violating coronavirus self-isolation measures after testing positive for the virus, President Nana Akufo-Addo said in a

8 policemen out to nab dreaded criminal killed in firing in UP’s Kanpur

8 policemen out to nab dreaded criminal killed in firing in UP’s Kanpur

Hindustan Times, Lucknow :Eight policemen, including a deputy superintendent and three sub-inspectors, were killed during a raid to nab a criminal in Uttar Pradesh's Kanpur district early on Friday.The

French PM Philippe resigns

French PM Philippe resigns

BBC Online :French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has tendered his resignation after heading President Emmanuel Macron's government for three years.The president swiftly named centre-right mayor Jean Castex to lead

22 dead as train hits bus carrying Sikh pilgrims in Pakistan

22 dead as train hits bus carrying Sikh pilgrims in Pakistan

AP, Karachi :A passenger train crashed into a bus carrying Sikh pilgrims at an unmanned railway crossing in eastern Pakistan on Friday, killing at least 22 people and injuring

Botswana reports mysterious deaths of 356 elephants

Botswana reports mysterious deaths of 356 elephants

AFP, Botswana :Hundreds of elephants have died mysteriously in Botswana's famed Okavango Delta, the head of the wildlife department said Thursday, ruling out poaching as the tusks were found

Britain recognises Guaido as Venezuelan president

Reuters, London :Britain has recognised Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's president, the English High Court has ruled, in a case over whether Guaido or Nicolas Maduro