Sudan Islamist party urges probe into killing of protesters

Wednesday December 26 2018

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. FILE |

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

AFP
By AFP
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Sudan's top Islamist party, a member of President Omar al-Bashir's government, called Wednesday for a probe into the killings of protesters in demonstrations that have rocked the economically troubled country.

Angry crowds have taken to the streets in Khartoum and several other cities since December 19 when the government tripled the price of bread

Sudanese authorities say eight protesters have been killed in clashes, but Amnesty International has put the death toll at 37.

At a press conference in Khartoum, Popular Congress Party senior official Idris Suleman said his party's own reports indicated that 17 people "were martyred" and 88 wounded in the demonstrations.

Islamist leader

Condemning the killings, the party, founded by late Islamist leader Hassan Turabi, urged the authorities to find those responsible.

"We call on the government to launch an investigation into the killings," Suleman said.

"Those who committed these killings must be held accountable."

Popular Congress Party is part of Bashir's government and has two ministers of state in the cabinet and seven lawmakers in parliament.

After the coup

Dr Turabi, who died in March 2016, was a leading force behind the 1989 coup that brought Bashir to power, ushering in an Islamist regime that hosted Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden from 1992 to 1996 in Sudan.

Dr Turabi founded Popular Congress Party after he was dismissed from President Bashir's National Congress Party amid a power struggle a decade after the coup.

Police and security officers remained deployed in several parts of the Sudanese capital on Wednesday, but no new demonstration had been staged so far.

President Bashir has sought to tamp down the discontent by vowing to "take real reforms" to solve Sudan's economic woes.

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