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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat

Sudanese Protester Killed as Thousands March against Coup

Sudanese anti-coup protesters chant slogans against the military in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on February 28, 2022. (AFP)

A Sudanese protester was shot dead Monday, medics said, during the latest march by thousands who continue to oppose a military coup which took place four months ago.

The latest death -- despite international appeals for an end to the violence -- takes the total number of people killed to at least 84 in a crackdown since General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan led an October 25 military takeover, according to independent medics.

"Tear gas canisters will not stop us!" said Taqwa Mohammed, a demonstrator near Khartoum's presidential palace, where the ruling Sovereign Council is based along the Nile River.

Around him, the bangs of stun grenades rang out, as volleys of tear gas canisters fell into the crowds, hissing out acrid clouds of red, green or yellow smoke.

"Down with Burhan!" the crowd chanted.

Some protesters hurled rocks at the soldiers, while others kicked back or picked up the hissing tear gas canisters.

Thousands also demonstrated in other cities.

"We are ready to die for our cause," said Anouar Bashir, another protester in Khartoum.

"The world must see the violence of the putschists."

The protester killed Monday was shot in the head in Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman, according to the Sudanese Doctors' Committee. The shooting happened as thousands of demonstrators tried to cross the bridge across the Nile linking the city to Khartoum.

'Power to the people'

More than 2,000 protesters have been injured since October, medics say, while the UN has said at least 13 protesters were raped.

Last week, United Nations rights expert Adama Dieng, during a mission to Sudan, expressed concern "about the violations (committed by) the authorities and the use of live ammunition against protesters."

Both the UN and the United States have made similar appeals before, with Washington threatening further "consequences" if violence continues. The coup, Sudan's latest, has already led to suspension of international aid.

Sudanese authorities have said they arrested several police and soldiers who fired at demonstrators with Kalashnikov rifles, disobeying orders.

Earlier this month, Human Rights Watch quoted witnesses detailing how the security forces have used both "live ammunition" and fired tear gas canisters "directly" at crowds, a tactic that can be deadly at close quarters.

The coup derailed a fragile power-sharing arrangement between the army and civilians negotiated after the 2019 ouster of longtime president Omar al-Bashir.

In Wad Madani, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) south of Khartoum, around 4,000 demonstrators took to the streets on Monday.

"Power to the people," they chanted, witnesses said. "Soldiers, go back to the barracks!"

In the eastern city of Gedaref, around 2,000 people rallied against the military, after calls to protest were made by the "resistance committees", neighborhood groups of activists organizing opposition to coup.

While people took to the streets, the UN mission in Khartoum released a report following five weeks of meetings with military chiefs, political leaders and civil society representatives, an initiative it hopes will "address the current political impasse and develop a path towards democracy and peace".

The UN mission said it "remains committed to supporting a civilian-led democratic government as the ultimate objective of the transitional period in Sudan," a statement said.

Anti-coup protesters who regularly take to the streets -- sometimes in the tens of thousands -- reject partnership with the military.

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