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Anti-government protests continue in Sudan amid violent crackdown

DEMONSTRATIONS demanding the resignation of President Omar al-Bashir continued across Sudan today amid a violent crackdown by the security services.

Rallies took place in Madani, Sinnar, Rafaa, Atbara, Abu Jubayhah, Gadarif, Um Rawaba, Dowim, al-Abyad, Port Sudan and Geneina, while in the capital Khartoum, hundreds of protesters marched to the presidential palace to deliver a letter calling on Mr Bashir to stand down.

Security forces used tear gas on those marching, blocking the main approaches.

A spokesman for the Sudan Association of Professionals vowed that the protests would continue despite the violent repression.

“The people of Sudan are known for being particularly determined, stubborn, and for playing the long game. They are not hot-headed, nor do they despair easily,” he said.

Demonstrations began in November, sparked by an increase in the price of bread, and soon broadened into widespread demands for Mr Bashir, who came to power in a coup in 1989, to stand down.

More than 800 people have been arrested in the crackdown, including five members of the Sudanese Communist Party central committee.

Human rights groups reported at least 40 civilian deaths as a result of violent clashes and security forces are alleged to have fired live ammunition in and around hospitals.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet called such reports “credible” and “deeply worrying.”

She appealed to the government to facilitate the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

“A repressive response can only worsen grievances. I urge the authorities to work to resolve this tense situation through dialogue, and call on all sides to refrain from the use of violence,” she said.

Teachers are set to strike on Sunday, with their union saying it stands against “murder, injustice and corruption,” as well as the “deteriorating security situation in which the brutal authority uses live bullets, tear gas and excessive violence.”

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