Protests in Sudan capital leave 3 dead as Demonstrators renew demand for civilian rule

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Pro-democracy demonstrators return to streets in Sudan capital Khartoum demanding for civilian rule; Courtesy Photo

Sudanese security forces on Thursday clashed with protesters demonstrating the military’s seizure of power in October, with the renewed unrest leaving at least 3 dead in the capital Khartoum.

Dozens more were injured as authorities fired live rounds and tear gas to disperse the crowd of thousands who were massed by the presidential palace.

The independent Doctors Committee and the United Office of Doctors confirmed the death toll in separate statements.

Anger has mounted in the nation after the military’s Oct. 25 seizure of power — a move that triggered seismic concerns that a shift to civilian rule after the regime of President Omar Al-Bashir was in peril.

The Sudanese Professionals Association, the body leading the protests, issued a statement on Wednesday urging the citizens to take part in protests set for Thursday.

Authorities, looking to quash the unrest, have cut off internet and phone service. The pan-Arab satellite channel, Arabiya, reported that it’s office, which also hosts Hadath television, had been raided and some staff beaten.

The Sudanese Journalists Network also said security forces raided the offices of other channels.

Sudan has been suffering a political crisis after General Commander of the Sudanese Armed Forces Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan declared a state of emergency on Oct. 25 and dissolved the Sovereign Council and government.

On Nov. 21, Al-Burhan and the then removed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok signed a political declaration, which included reinstating Hamdok as prime minister, but the deal has so far failed to calm the street protests.

The clampdown by the military comes at a difficult time for Sudan, whose economy has been struggling to rebound. International donors, including the U.S. and development agencies, have suspended hundreds of millions of dollars in aid.

In addition, Sudan’s eligibility for $50 billion of debt relief through International Monetary Fund programs is also in question.

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