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Anti-government protest erupts in Sudanese capital despite coronavirus restrictions Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Anti-government protest erupts in Sudanese capital despite coronavirus restrictions

People have queued outside bakeries in Khartoum amid a bread shortage [Getty]

Date of publication: 12 April, 2020

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Supporters of ousted President Omar al-Bashir held a protest in Khartoum against the government despite a ban against all public gatherings.
A demonstration took place in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Sunday calling for the fall of the government of Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok in defiance of measures imposed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The protesters were from the Unified People's Movement, an organisation made up of supporters of former President Omar al-Bashir and his now banned National Congress Party, as well as supporters of other Islamist groups. Bashir was deposed following widespread popular protests last year.

The protesters, most of whom were woman, chanted slogans including "corona doesn't kill, bread queues do", in reference to a severe bread shortage Sudan is facing. They also chanted in praise of the Sudanese army.

Sudan has banned all public gatherings and closed its borders in response to the coronavirus pandemic. It has also imposed a night-time curfew and taken health and sanitation measures.

The anniversary of Bashir's removal from power was due to be celebrated last week but celebrations were cancelled in response to the deadly Covid-19 virus.

Instead, the government published a statement promising to review its performance, create a committee to deal with the economic crisis, and carry out reforms designed to increase political participation.

So far 19 cases of the coronavirus have been reported in Sudan, with two people dying of the new disease.

In response to the anti-government protest, soldiers blocked off roads leading to the Military Headquarters in Khartoum, causing traffic jams in the centre of the city.

According to preliminary reports, some people were arrested for their participation in the protest and may face trial.

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