Sudan security forces fire teargas at anti-coup protesters

Thursday November 18 2021
Sudanese demonstrators

Sudanese demonstrators run from teargas lobbed to disperse them. FILE PHOTO | REUTERS


Sudanese security forces fired teargas Thursday at anti-coup protesters who had stayed on the streets of northern Khartoum a day after 15 people were killed, witnesses said. 

Dozens of demonstrators manned makeshift barricades built the previous day in the capital's northern districts in protest against last month's widely condemned military takeover.

Top general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan -- Sudan's de facto leader since the April 2019 ouster of president Omar al-Bashir -- detained the civilian leadership and declared a state of emergency on October 25. 

The move upended Sudan's fragile transition to full civilian rule, drawing wide international condemnation and a flurry of punitive measures and aid cuts. 

"We condemn violence towards peaceful protestors and call for the respect and protection of human rights in Sudan," said the US State Department's Bureau of African Affairs on Twitter.

Burhan insists the military's move "was not a coup" but a step to "rectify the course of the transition" to civilian rule.


Thousands took to the streets on Wednesday in Khartoum and other cities but were met by the deadliest crackdown since the coup. 

At least 15 people, mostly from northern Khartoum, were killed on Wednesday alone, according to medics, raising the death toll of protesters to 39 in recent weeks. 

Wednesday's demonstrations were organised despite a near-total shutdown of internet services and disruption of telephone lines across Sudan. 

By Thursday morning, phone lines had been restored but internet services remained largely cut. 

Bridges connecting the capital with its neighbouring cities reopened and traffic again flowed through many streets in Khartoum. 

Security forces were seen removing makeshift barricades of bricks and rocks from some streets in eastern and northern Khartoum, said an AFP correspondent.