Sudanese security forces have killed at least three protesters during rallies against last year’s military coup, medics and an activist have said, before a visit by US diplomats seeking to revive a transition to civilian rule.
Thousands of protesters demonstrating against military rule marched towards the presidential palace in the capital Khartoum on Monday, drawing volleys of tear gas from security forces.
The protesters, who gathered some 2km (1.25 miles) from the palace, blocked a main road in the Al Diyum neighbourhood and burned tires before starting their march.
Huge crowds have regularly taken to the streets demanding a return to civilian rule since the military coup on October 25 ended a power-sharing arrangement that began after longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir was removed from power amid a popular uprising in April 2019.
The military takeover triggered wide international condemnation and derailed a fragile transition to civilian rule following al-Bashir’s removal.
Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors (CCSD) said at least seven protesters were killed by security forces and dozens of others wounded.
Activist Nazim Sirag said seven protesters were killed when security forces opened fire to break up several marches in the capital, including in the area around the presidential palace.
The seven killings on Monday bring to 71 the death toll of protesters killed since the October coup led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.
The pro-democracy movement condemned Monday’s deadly shootings and called for a two-day civil disobedience campaign over the security forces’ actions.
Faisal Saleh, a former information minister and Hamdok’s advisor, said the killings were “a full-fledged crime,” and urged the international community to act.
“The Sudanese people do not face an arbitrary government or authority, but rather a criminal gang that kills the youth of Sudan in cold blood, and the whole world is watching,” Saleh wrote on Twitter.
The United Nations condemned “the use of lethal force against demonstrators,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said later yesterday.
“Whether it’s in Khartoum or other places, people have a right to demonstrate peacefully,” he added.
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