Violence broke out again Thursday in Sudan where four demonstrators were killed and dozens injured among a crowd that shouted at the military power, braving live ammunition, tear gas canisters and cutting off communications.
According to a pro-democracy doctors’ union, the four protesters were shot dead in Omdurman, the northwestern suburb of Khartoum.
In a call relayed by Facebook pages maintained by Sudanese living abroad, the doctors lamented that the police “prevent ambulances from approaching” the victims and even force a protester with gunshot wounds in the neck and under breathing assistance to get out of one of these vehicles.
“The putschists use live ammunition against the demonstrators”, they affirmed, noting “dozens of wounded”. The doctors called in reinforcement of the doctors at the Arbaïn hospital in Omdourman.
To prevent gatherings as much as possible, the police had installed containers on Wednesday evening across bridges connecting Khartoum to its suburbs.
It is impossible to know exactly what the extent of the repression was because the authorities also cut off mobile internet and telephone calls – both local and from abroad – in the morning, before reinstating them in the evening. once the demonstrators dispersed.
– Media attacked –
In addition, Dubai-based satellite TV Al-Arabiya reported that several of its journalists were injured when security forces attacked his office.
The Asharq channel, also financed by the Saudis, said that one of its teams had been prevented from covering the demonstration by the security forces.
The UN mission in Sudan and the American embassy denounced the deaths of the demonstrators and the attacks on the media.
With each new call to demonstrate for “the revolution” and against the head of the army, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane, who reinforced his power with a putsch on October 25, the authorities mobilize new techniques to try to counter the opposition.
In addition to the muscular searches of the media, the security forces had installed cameras early Thursday on the main axes of Khartoum, worrying a little more activists who denounce uninterrupted raids for weeks in their ranks.
This did not stop tens of thousands of demonstrators chanting once again “No to military power” and “The soldiers to the barracks!” in Khartoum but also in Kessala and Port-Sudan in the east or in Madani, south of the capital.
In the capital, a demonstrator told AFP to march “for the fall of military power” and especially “against the political agreement”, a text which recently allowed civilian Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok to leave house arrest but also General Burhane to remain at the head of the transitional authorities for two more years.
For another protester in Khartoum, civilians should never have agreed to join the 2019 Sacred Union, after the streets forced the generals to dismiss one of their own, the dictator Omar al-Bashir. Civilians and soldiers then decided to join forces in order to lead the country towards democracy.
“Signing with the military was a mistake from the start,” he told AFP, because the generals in power are “Bashir’s men”.
An accusation that the street often relays, accusing Mr. Hamdok of having “betrayed” by “promoting the return of the old regime”.
– Police charges –
Thursday, a few hundred meters from the presidential palace in Khartoum where the Sovereign Council, the highest authority of the transition headed by General Burhane, sits, the security forces fired tear gas canisters.
Protesters were evacuating wounded as crowds approached the building and moved away at the behest of police charges.
As of Wednesday, the American embassy had called for “extreme restraint in the use of force”, while in two months of anti-coup mobilization, 52 demonstrators were killed and hundreds wounded by gunshot.
Last Saturday, 235 people had already been injured in the dispersion of a national mobilization according to a union of pro-democracy doctors.
On December 19, the security forces were accused this time by the UN of having raped demonstrators in an attempt to break the protest.