Five protesters killed as Sudanese rally against military coup

Nov 14, 2021: Activists say Sudanese security forces fired live ammunition and tear gas to disperse protesters condemning the army’s crackdown on the country, killing at least five people and wounding several others.

Violence erupted on Saturday as thousands of pro-democracy protesters took to the streets across Sudan and rallied against the military’s occupation last month. The uprising has drawn international criticism and sparked protests on the streets of the capital, Khartoum, and elsewhere in the country.

According to the Sudan Doctors Committee, the killings on Saturday took place in Khartoum and its twin city of Omdurman, with four of the dead being shot and one dying of “suffocation from tear gas”, the Sudan Medical Committee said.

Saturday’s protests were called by the Sudanese Professionals Association and the so-called Resistance Committees. Both groups were the primary forces behind the uprising against al-Bashir in April 2019.

The Sudan Doctors Committee is also part of the pro-democracy movement.

It is said there were reports of injuries to several other protesters, including live firefighters. Sudanese police, however, denied using live ammunition against protesters, saying protesters attacked several police stations and vehicles in Khartoum, seriously injuring about 39 police officers.

The rallies, called by the pro-democracy movement, came two days after coup leader General Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan reappointed himself head of the Sovereign Council, Sudan’s interim governing body. Thursday’s move angered the pro-democracy alliance and frustrated the United States and other countries that have urged the generals to reverse their coup.

The Sudanese army seized power on October 25, dissolving the interim government and arresting dozens of officials and politicians. The seizure of power led to a delicate planned transition to democratic rule, and a popular uprising more than two years later forced the removal of longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir.

The demonstrations took place amid tight security, with authorities closing off bridges linking Khartoum’s neighbourhoods. Troops and paramilitary forces also sealed off the area around the military headquarters, where thousands of protesters set up camp in April 2019, forcing the military to remove al-Bashir.

Saturday’s deaths have brought the death toll to at least 19 protesters killed due to excessive force used by the country’s security forces since the October 25 coup, according to Sudanese doctors and the United Nations.

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