Thousands protested across Sudan against military rule on the anniversary Wednesday of previous popular uprisings, most recently against autocrat Omar al-Bashir three years ago.
In the capital Khartoum, where thousands took to the streets, security forces fired tear gas at the crowd, said witnesses. The security forces also “stormed Al-Jawda hospital and fired tear gas inside, scaring patients and health workers and causing suffocation among some of them,” said the independent Central Committee of Sudan Doctors.
Sudan has grappled with an October 25 coup led by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan that has de-railed a political transition period and hammered the economy of one of the world’s poorest countries.
Pro-democracy activists have warned online of a people power “earthquake of April 6” — a momen-tous day in Sudan’s history that was key in bringing down earlier strongmen.
In 1985, the day saw the ouster of president Jaafar Nimeiri following a popular uprising. In 2019 it marked the start of a mass sit-in outside army headquarters, after months of protests, against Bashir’s three decades in power.
“It is an important day… so we expect many to take to the streets despite the heat and Ramadan,” the Muslim month of fasting, said one Khartoum pro-tester, Badwi Bashir.
“We just want to bring down the coup (leader-ship) and end the prospect of any future coups.” Sudan’s latest putsch has “set fire to all aspects of life, turning our country into an arena of crises,” said the civilian alliance Forces of Freedom and Change, or FFC.
As protesters started to gather in the capital, se-curity forces sealed off key bridges and deployed around the presidential palace and army headquarters.
In Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman, they set up barbed wire blockades on streets leading to the parliament building.
Protesters marched in the eastern state of Gedaref with banners that read “No to military rule” and “Away with the government of hunger”, said one witness, Ahmed Salah.—APP