Mourners and worshippers protest after 3 die in Sudan demos
January 18 2019 07:12 PM
Sudanese protestors burn tires during an anti-government demonstration in the capital Khartoum
Sudanese protestors burn tires during an anti-government demonstration in the capital Khartoum

AFP/Khartoum

Hundreds of mourners returning from the funeral of a protester and crowds of worshippers launched spontaneous anti-government rallies in Sudan Friday, witnesses said, a day after three demonstrators died in Khartoum.
Deadly protests have rocked Sudan since December 19 when the government raised the price of bread.
The rallies have escalated into broad demonstrations against President Omar al-Bashir's three decades rule. 
"We are not scared, we will not stop" shouted protesters in Khartoum as they returned from the funeral of a demonstrator who died during clashes with riot police in the eastern district of Burri on Thursday, witnesses said. 
Video footage showed men and women, many wearing masks, shouting slogans against the government after the burial as a thick plume of smoke billowed from burning tyres and rubbish. 
In a separate demonstration, Muslim worshippers who had gathered for Friday prayers chanted "Freedom, peace, justice" inside a mosque in Omdurman, the twin city of Khartoum, witnesses said.
"After the prayers they streamed out of the mosque chanting slogans against the government," a witness told AFP.
"They were immediately confronted by riot police who dispersed them."
A third protest was also swiftly dispersed in an area in the south of the capital, witnesses said.
Riot police on Thursday broke up a march by hundreds of people on the presidential palace in Khartoum chanting "freedom, peace, justice" -- the key slogan of the protest movement.
Hours later residents of Burri staged a demonstration that saw clashes between riot police and protesters, witnesses said.
A doctors' committee linked to the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) that is spearheading the protest movement said a child and doctor were killed during Thursday's demonstrations in the capital.
An SPA spokesman said later that another protester had also died during the day. 
The doctors committee said the child and medic were killed by "live ammunition" but did not specify who had fired the shots. It said other people had sustained bullet wounds.
The two deaths were confirmed to AFP by relatives of the victims.
Angry mourners who had gone to the funeral of the third victim rallied on their return from the cemetary on Friday, witnesses said.
Even before reaching the cemetary, some mourners had attacked a police vehicle in the area, witnesses said.
"The police had to leave the vehicle and flee," a witness said.
Sudanese officials have not confirmed the three deaths and earlier put the overall toll from the violence since protests broke out in December at 24. 
Rights group Amnesty International last week said over 40 people have been killed in the unrest and more than 1,000 arrested. 
The tough government response has drawn international criticism, while Bashir has blamed the violence on "conspirators" without identifying them.
Western powers at the United Nations Security Council called on Sudan to investigate the violence.
"We are appalled at reports that security forces have used tear gas and violence within hospitals against those being treated and against doctors providing medical assistance," British Deputy Ambassador Jonathan Allen said Thursday.
Sudan's ambassador Omer Dahab Fadl Mohamed told the council that Khartoum was "fully committed to giving citizens a space to peacefully express their views". 
But he said the authorities would act to "protect lives and public property against sabotage and arson and all other forms of violence perpetrated by some demonstrators".
The protests came as Sudan suffers from an economic crisis driven by an acute shortage of foreign currency and soaring inflation that has more than doubled the price of food and medicines.



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