Online security

Sudanese rally for new protests against coup amid heightened security


title=news agency reported. (AP Photo / Marwan Ali)” title=”People march during a protest to denounce the October military coup, in Khartoum, Sudan on Saturday, December 25, 2021. Sudanese security forces fired tear gas to disperse protesters as thousands people have gathered since earlier today, even as authorities tightened security in Khartoum, deploying troops and closing all Nile bridges connecting the capital to its twin city of Omdurman and the district of Bahri , the official SUNA news agency reported. (AP Photo / Marwan Ali)” loading=”lazy”/>

People march during a protest to denounce the October military coup, in Khartoum, Sudan on Saturday, December 25, 2021. Sudanese security forces fired tear gas to disperse protesters as thousands people have gathered since earlier today, even as authorities tightened security in Khartoum, deploying troops and closing all Nile bridges connecting the capital to its twin city of Omdurman and the district of Bahri , the official SUNA news agency reported. (AP Photo / Marwan Ali)

PA

Sudanese security forces fired tear gas on Saturday to disperse protesters in Khartoum as protesters again took to the streets in the country’s capital and elsewhere to denounce the October military coup.

Thousands of people have gathered since earlier today, even as authorities tightened security in Khartoum, deploying troops and closing all Nile bridges connecting the capital to its sister city of Omdurman and the district of Bahri, the official SUNA news agency reported.

Authorities had warned protesters against approaching “sovereign and strategic” sites in central Khartoum – a reference to major government buildings and key institutions. The city’s security committee said Sudanese forces “would deal with the chaos and violations,” SUNA reported.

The marches started in different places, from where the demonstrators wanted to converge on the presidential palace. Security forces used tear gas to disperse those trying to approach the palace, activist Nazim Sirag said. No injuries were immediately reported.

Rallies were also underway in other towns, including Wad Madani and Atbara.

Last weekend, security forces violently dispersed protesters as they attempted to stage a sit-in near the presidential palace. At least three protesters were killed and more than 300 were injured on Sunday. There were also allegations of sexual violence, including rape and gang rape by security forces against female demonstrators, according to the United Nations.

Volker Perthes, the UN special envoy for Sudan, urged security forces to “protect” planned protests and refrain from arresting people simply because they wanted to participate in the protests.

“Freedom of expression is a human right. This includes full internet access. No one should be arrested for their intention to demonstrate peacefully, ”he said in a Twitter post.

Ahead of Saturday’s protests, activists reported an interruption in internet access on phones in Khartoum, a tactic that was used by the generals when they took power on October 25.

Advocacy group NetBlocks said Sudan was experiencing mobile internet disruption early on Saturday. “The mechanism appears similar or identical to that used in the October blackout,” Alp Toker, group director, told The Associated Press.

The government has not commented on the disruption.

The October military takeover overturned a fragile planned transition to democratic rule and led to relentless street protests across Sudan. At least 47 people have been killed and hundreds injured in protests sparked by the coup, according to a count from a Sudanese medical group.

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, a former UN official seen as the civilian face of the Sudanese transitional government, was reinstated last month under international pressure in a deal that calls for an independent technocratic cabinet under control military led by him.

This deal, however, was rejected by the pro-democracy movement, which insists that power be handed over to an all-civilian government to lead the transition.

The Prime Minister is continuing discussions to break the political deadlock. He met with leaders of the country’s largest Umma party on Friday, his office said.