Published: Sun, January 13, 2019
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Sudan police fire tear gas at protesters in Khartoum

Sudan police fire tear gas at protesters in Khartoum

The protests appeared to have drawn more people than before and were more widespread, Reuters said.

Qatar's ruler, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, called Al Bashir shortly after the protests began to offer his support. The rest were killed in Omdurman and regions north and northeast of the capital.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International say at least 40 have been killed in the protests.

The commission said it was "calling upon the government to investigate this and bring the criminals to court".

Since then, tensions have escalated into nationwide rallies, with protesters calling for President Omar al-Bashir to resign.

"We will launch a week of uprising with demonstrations in every Sudanese town and village", the Sudanese Professionals' Association said.

On Sunday, protesters in Khartoum were seen carrying the Sudanese flag as others held banners bearing the words "peace, justice, freedom", which has become a key slogan in the rallies.

They also urged protests in Niyala and El-Fasher in Darfur, the first such rallies to be called in the region, reported AFP.

At least three people were killed in a protest in Omdurman on Wednesday, while eight people were hospitalised with gunshot wounds in the head, chest, stomach and legs, Amnesty said.

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Numerous protesters were women who wore masks to protect themselves from tear gas as they whistled and clapped in the streets of Bahari, the hub of Sunday's demonstration, witnesses said.

"But so far there hasn't been an escalation, they are persistent but they haven't risen in intensity in a significant way".

Repeated shortages of food and fuel have been reported in several cities, including the capital, Khartoum, while the cost of food and medicine has more than doubled.

The United States lifted 20-year-old trade sanctions on Sudan in October 2017, but many investors continue to shun a country still listed by Washington as a state sponsor of terrorism.

In a strongly-worded statement, Sudan's National Commission for Human Rights slammed the attack on the Omdurman hospital and called for a swift investigation into the deaths of citizens.

He has also failed to unite or keep the peace in the religiously and ethnically diverse nation, losing three quarters of Sudan's oil wealth when the mainly animist and Christian south seceded in 2011 following a referendum.

Rights groups say more than 1,000 people have been arrested since the protests began, including opposition leaders, activists and journalists as well as demonstrators.

The crackdown has drawn global criticism with Britain, Canada, Norway and the United States warning Khartoum that its actions would "have an impact" on its relations with their governments.

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