Murderous despot Al Bashir, and first sitting president to be indicted for war crimes, faces renewed and vigorous campaign by thousands of Sudanese nationals to resign and turn himself in for justice.
Protests Across Khartoum Call on Al-Bashir to Step Down
Police are using tear gas to disperse thousands of demonstrators in the Sudanese capital protesting the rule of autocratic President Omar al-Bashir.
by Hamza Hendawi, Associated Press
CAIRO (AP) — Police on Friday used tear gas to disperse anti-government demonstrations across Sudan’s capital, where two weeks of street protests there and elsewhere in the country are keeping pressure on autocratic President Omar al-Bashir to step down after nearly 30 years in power.
The protests took place in at least eight different districts of Khartoum and its twin cities of Omdurman and Bahary, with thousands taking to the streets after the noon prayers chanting “freedom, peace, justice.” The protesters also carried banners bearing the word “erhal,” Arabic for “leave!” and chanted “Oh, you dancer, you made the people hungry,” a reference to al-Bashir’s trademark dance to local music after speaking at rallies.
In Omdurman, after the noon prayers, protesters rallied around opposition leader Sadeq al-Mahdi, Sudan’s last freely elected government whose three years in power proved ineffective.
There were also protests in the railway city of Atbara, a traditional bastion of dissent and one of several cities where anti-government demonstrations began Dec. 19, initially over rising prices and shortages but which quickly shifted to calls for al-Bashir to step down.
Kassala and the Red Sea city of Port Sudan, both in eastern Sudan, and al-Gazeera region south of Khartoum also witnessed protests Friday.
At least 40 people are reported to have been killed in the protests so far. The government has acknowledged the death of 19 people and al-Bashir this week ordered an investigation into the use of lethal force against protesters. His decision to probe the deaths came after several Western nations, including the United States, have expressed their alarm at the use of live ammunition by security forces and demanded an investigation.