Security forces fire tear gas to disperse anti-coup protesters in Sudan

(Photo: The Associated Press)

Sudanese security forces used tear gas to disperse demonstrators in the capital of Khartoum on Thursday, campaigners reported, as hundreds marched to the streets in opposition to a coup that has plunged the country into a grinding impasse.

The rallies in Khartoum and elsewhere in Sudan are the latest in a series of non-stop protests since the military deposed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok's civilian-led administration on Oct. 25.

Sudan's road to democracy has been upended by the military takeover, following three decades of brutality and diplomatic isolation under autocratic President Omar al-Bashir. Since April 2019, when a popular uprising drove the military to depose al-Bashir and his Islamist administration, the African nation has been on a precarious path toward democracy.

Demonstrators, the majority of whom were young, marched in several areas throughout Khartoum and its twin city of Omdurman, according to footage posted online. Security was strictly enforced, and protests took place in Darfur's restive western region.

The protesters asked that generals be removed from power and that a genuinely civilian government be established to oversee the transition.

According to the pro-democracy movement, security officers deployed tear gas to disperse those marching in a major Khartoum thoroughfare leading to the fortified presidential palace. Online videos show white smoke — believed to be from tear gas — rising as demonstrators attempt to find cover and others hurled stones at the troops.

There were no reports of casualties at the time. Over 60 people have been killed and hundreds more injured in the near-daily protests that have taken place since the coup.

The United Nations has repeatedly urged authorities to halt its crackdown on protestors and hold those responsible for past rounds of protests accountable for their actions. The United Nations mission in Sudan launched separate discussions with Sudanese parties earlier this week to bridge the growing divide between the military and the pro-democracy movement. These conversations could result in direct meetings between the two parties to solve the problem.

Hamdok, who served as the transitional government of Sudan's civilian face for two years, resigned earlier this month, citing an inability to broker a deal between the generals and the pro-democracy movement. In November, he was reinstated following a military-backed arrangement that enraged the pro-democracy movement.

The movement demands that the civilian government lead the transition, a demand that the generals reject, claiming that authority will be transferred only to an elected government. Elections are scheduled for July 2023, by a 2019 constitutional draft outlining the transition period's provisions.

The coup occurred just weeks before the military was supposed to pass over leadership of the ruling sovereign council to civilians, as stipulated in the constitution.

Publish : 2022-01-13 20:17:00

Give Your Comments