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Sudanese protester killed by ‘live bullet to chest’

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Sudanese security forces on Monday killed a protester in the capital Khartoum during a demonstration calling for civilian rule, almost three months after a military coup, medics said. The protester was hit by a live bullet to the chest, doctors said.

The protester, who has not yet been identified, was “directly hit by a live bullet to the chest”, the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors said.

The latest death brings to 74 the number of protesters killed in a crackdown on anti-coup demonstrations, the medics said.

Protests have continued in Sudan since the military took power on October 25, ending a partnership with civilian political parties since the ouster of Omar al-Bashir in 2019.

Monday’s protests were met with teargas, stun grenades and water cannon spraying red water as protesters stood 1.2 kilometres (0.75 miles) away from the presidential palace, according to witnesses.

Thousands of protesters in the capital Khartoum chanting slogans against the army headed toward the presidential palace, an area which security forces had sealed off ahead of the march.

Protests were also held in other cities including Wad Madani, south of the capital, the Red Sea city of Port Sudan, and the eastern state of Gedaref, according to witnesses.

“No, no to military rule,” and “civilian (rule) is the people’s choice” protesters shouted in Wad Madani, according to witness Emad Mohamed.

In the city of Omdurman, a Reuters witness saw a heavy security presence and tear gas fired on a main road.

The protests were called by neighbourhood resistance committees, which advocate a stance of “no legitimacy, no negotiation, no partnership” towards the military.

Sudan’s authorities have repeatedly denied using live ammunition against demonstrators, and insist scores of security personnel have been wounded during protests.

A police general was stabbed to death during the unrest earlier this month.

Mass arrests

On Sunday, Sudan’s key Umma party vowed “to remove all traces of the coup”.

It however warned that the “coup leadership” will “persist with its brutality and come up with new ways to commit violent massacres and launch mass arrests of revolutionaries”.

Hundreds of pro-democracy activists have been arrested in the crackdown on anti-coup activists.

On Saturday, a leading women rights activist Amira Othman was arrested following a raid on her home in Khartoum, according to a statement by the “No to Women’s Oppression” initiative which she leads.

UN special representative Volker Perthes slammed Othman’s arrest saying the “arrest and pattern of violence against women’s rights activists severely risks reducing their political participation”.

Other activists from the “resistance committees”, informal groups which have been instrumental in organising anti-coup protests, were also arrested late Sunday, according to members who requested anonymity fearing reprisals.

On Friday, Sudanese authorities requested delaying the arrival of UN expert on human rights in Sudan, Adama Dieng, who was appointed in November and had been due to make his first official visit.

Last week, senior US diplomats visited Sudan in a bid to bolster UN-led efforts to cajole the military into restoring a transition to full civilian rule.

Sudan’s ruling Sovereign Council has welcomed the UN-led dialogue, as have the United States, Britain, neighbouring Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

The Forces for Freedom and Change, Sudan’s civilian bloc, also joined consultations “to restore the democratic transition”.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)

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