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In Sudan, protesters defy repression after bloody day

“We went out into the streets spontaneously in reaction to yesterday’s violence,” Chawqi Abdelazim, who is demonstrating in the Sudanese capital, told AFP.

It was in Khartoum that the security forces killed Thursday, according to doctors, nine demonstrators who demanded the return of civilians to power in a country under the control of the generals almost always since its independence in 1956.

The protesters had shouted by tens of thousands “The people want the fall of Burhane” in the capital, in the suburbs but also in various cities of the country.

On Friday, for the second day in a row, in the center of Khartoum and its northeastern suburbs, the crowd maintained pressure on General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane, the army chief who authored a putsch on October 25. which plunged the country into political and economic crisis.

Several hundred demonstrators chanted “revenge” by brandishing photos of the victims of the repression which, since this coup, has left 113 dead and thousands injured, according to pro-democracy doctors.

Thursday was a symbolic day in Sudan as it marked the anniversary of the coup that brought dictator Omar al-Bashir to power and a sit-in that forced the military to share power with civilians after his ousting. in 2019.

– Live ammunition and “impunity” –

Most of Thursday’s victims, including a minor, were fatally shot, prompting a flurry of condemnation from the international community, which for eight months has failed either to convince the generals to stop firing on the crowd or to bring civilians at the negotiating table with these same soldiers.

The American embassy said it was “heartbroken by these tragic deaths”, while the UN and the African Union (AU) condemned “the excessive use of force by the security forces and the impunity” from which they benefit.

The Norwegian Embassy, ​​maneuvering in Sudan with Washington and the former British colonial power, condemned “torture, sexual violence and inhuman treatment” including demonstrators and activists detained by the dozens.

“Impunity must end”, she hammered, while no member of the police has so far had to answer for any death – neither those of the anti-coup demonstrators nor even those of the more than 250 dead in the “revolution” which ended 30 years of Omar al-Bashir’s dictatorship in 2019.

After the unchallenged reign of this Islamist-backed general, the army was forced to agree to share power with civilians. But on October 25, 2021, General Burhane abruptly put an end to this transition by arresting his civilian partners, who have since been released.

In retaliation, the international community cut off its aid, which represented 40% of Sudan’s budget. These sanctions did not bend the military – almost always in command since independence in 1956 – but caused the economy to plunge with the collapse of the Sudanese pound and inflation exceeding 200% every month.

The Sudanese police commented on Friday the events of the day before, accusing the protesters of violence and fires and reporting more than 200 injured in the ranks of the police.

Despite everything on Friday, in the northeastern suburbs of Khartoum, demonstrators erected barricades and blocked roads with burning tires, while others converged on the presidential palace under tear gas canisters, a rallying point for anti- putsch, reported AFP journalists.

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