Anti-coup protests in Sudan turn deadly ahead of UN-backed talks

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A Sudanese protester was killed on Sunday as security forces fired tear gas at thousands of people who rallied to keep pressure on the military, a day before the UN launched talks to put end to weeks of crisis after a coup.

The October 25 takeover, led by army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, derailed a civil-military power-sharing transition established after the 2019 ouster of the long-time autocrat. date Omar al-Bashir.

It has also sparked regular protests – sometimes in the tens of thousands – from Sudanese wanting a return to democratic transition in a country with a long history of coups.

The latest death brings the number of protesters killed in the crackdown on anti-coup protests to 62, the Sudanese Central Medical Committee said in a statement.

They said the 26-year-old protester who was killed was “hit by a tear gas canister in the neck” fired by security forces.

He died a day before the United Nations held a press conference launching a dialogue between “all major civilian and military actors” to find a way forward “towards democracy and peace,” the special envoy said. UN Volker Perthes.

Earlier Sunday, a teenager died from live gunshot wounds to the neck suffered during Thursday’s protests, doctors said.

Pro-democracy protesters marched again to the presidential palace in central Khartoum on Sunday and also gathered in northern Khartoum, witnesses said.

“No, no to military rule,” they chanted, waving the national flag.

Main streets around the capital were cordoned off in an attempt to prevent people from converging there and at the army headquarters, which was the epicenter of the mass protests that forced Bashir to leave.

Protesters also gathered in Omdurman, the sister city of Khartoum on the Nile, and Wad Madani in the south, witnesses said.

“We will not accept less than a full-fledged civilian government,” said Ammar Hamed, 27, protesting in Khartoum.

Authorities have repeatedly denied using live ammunition to confront protesters and insist that many members of the security forces were injured in protests which often “deviated from the calm.”

The protests had died down by nightfall.

Doctors condemn raids on hospitals Doctors in white coats joined Sunday’s rallies to protest the storming of hospitals and other medical facilities by security forces in previous protests.

The Sudanese Central Committee of Physicians, affiliated with the protest movement, said on Saturday that the medics would hand over a memorandum to UN officials listing the “attacks” against such facilities.

Last week, Sudanese civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok resigned, saying the country was at a “dangerous crossroads threatening its very survival”. He did not resume his duties until November 21, after being ousted with his government during the coup.

Analysts said his departure left full control of the military and threatened a return to the repression of the Bashir era.

“It’s time to end the violence and get into a constructive process,” Perthes said on Saturday announcing the talks.

Last week, the United States, Britain, Norway and the European Union warned that Sudan could plunge into conflict and called for “an immediate dialogue, led by the Sudanese and facilitated by the international community” .

But the Forces for Freedom and Change, the civil alliance that led the protests against Bashir and became part of the transitional government, said it had received “no details” of the initiative. ‘UN.

On Sunday, the Sudanese Professionals Association, also key to anti-Bashir protests, said it “completely rejects” the UN-facilitated talks.

“The way to resolve the Sudanese crisis begins with the complete overthrow of the putschist military council and bringing its members to justice for the killings committed against the defenseless (and) peaceful Sudanese people,” SPA said in a statement.

Burhan insisted that the military takeover “was not a coup” but was intended only to “rectify the course of the Sudanese transition”.

The UN Security Council is due to meet on Wednesday to discuss developments in Sudan.

(AFP)

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