fbpx

Hundreds of thousands march to Sudan presidential palace in protest against coup

KHARTOUM– Hundreds of thousands of people marched to the presidential palace in Sudan’s capital Khartoum on Sunday in protest at the Oct. 25 military coup, drawing volleys of tear gas and stun grenades from security forces, Reuters witnesses said.

Medics said scores of people were injured.

Some protesters managed to reach the gates of the palace and the protest’s organisers called on more to join a planned sit-in there after sundown, but live video footage showed those who remained being tear gassed heavily.

The outpouring of protest, the ninth major demonstration since the coup and one of the largest, marked the 2018 burning of a ruling party building which touched off a popular uprising that led to the overthrow of long-ruling Islamist autocrat Omar al-Bashir.

Protests against the coup have continued even after the reinstatement of the prime minister last month, with demonstrators demanding no more military involvement at all in government in a transition towards free elections.

Demonstrators marched down a main road leading to the palace, chanting “the people are stronger and retreat is impossible”, with some darting into side streets to dodge volleys of tear gas.

Some 123 people were injured, according to the Sudanese health ministry, in Khartoum, its twin cities of Bahri and Omdurman, and the eastern city of Kassala.

Medics affiliated with the protest movement accused security forces in a statement of using live bullets and heavy tear gas to disperse the sit-in, assaulting protesters and stealing their personal property. They also accused them of encircling hospitals and firing tear gas at the entrances.

There was no immediate statement from police.

Despite security forces blocking bridges over the Nile river into the capital early on Sunday, protesters were able to cross a bridge connecting the city of Omdurman to central Khartoum but were met with heavy tear gas, Reuters witnesses said.

Reuters witnesses also watched protesters crossing a bridge from Bahri, north of Khartoum, to the capital.

Images shared on social media showed protests taking place in several other cities including Port Sudan, El-Deain, Madani and Kassala.