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The New Arab Staff

Sudan police fire tear gas at protesters in Khartoum

Tuesday's rallies coincided with the 31st anniversary of the 1989 Islamist-backed military coup [Getty]

Date of publication: 30 June, 2020

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Protests in Sudanese cities went ahead as planned, with security forces deployed in force, despite a tight curfew since April.

Police in Sudan broke up demonstrations with tear gas on Tuesday after tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets calling for reforms and demanding justice for those killed in anti-government demonstrations last year. 

Protests took place in several Sudanese cities and the capital Khartoum went ahead with security forces deployed in force and despite a tight curfew since April designed to curb the spread of coronavirus. 

"Our demands are peace... and justice. We call for economic reform and appointment of civilian governors to states," said a protester in Burri, east of Khartoum. 

"This march is to put the revolution back on course, not to overthrow the government."

Many chanted the catchphrase of last year's protests which led to the ousting of former President Omar Al-Bashir: "Freedom, peace and justice". 

Meanwhile, the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) renewed its calls for reforms and justice for protesters killed by security forces in a statement released on Tuesday, seen by The New Arab’s sister Arabic site, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed

Achieving peace in Sudan needs to address the roots of the crisis, the association said in its statement

"The voice of the protesters must reach the peace talks to reach comprehensive solutions and put an end to the injustices, once and for all," the statement said. 

In Dongola, north of the capital, hundreds carried banners demanding "retribution" for demonstrators killed in clashes with security forces last year.

Similarly, in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur, demonstrators drapped in the Sudanese flag carried banners that read: "Retribution and peace". 

Protesters also gathered in Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman and Zalingei, the capital of Central Darfur.

On Saturday, the Sudanese People's Congress party called on the transitional government, led by Abdullah Hamdok, to submit its resignation.

At least 246 were killed and hundreds others wounded during the 2018-19 anti-government protests, according to doctors linked to Sudan's protest movement.

Tuesday's rallies coincided with the 31st anniversary of the 1989 Islamist-backed military coup that brought Bashir to power.

Bashir was ousted by the military in April 2019 following months-long mass protests against his 30-year rule, in an uprising triggered by economic hardship. 

Since August Sudan has been led by a civilian-majority administration presiding over a three-year transitional period.

The country is reeling from economic woes, largely blamed on Bashir-era policies. 

Since his ouster, the former strongman has been detained and he was handed a two-year prison sentence on corruption charges in December. 

He faces separate charges over the deaths of protesters and the 1989 coup.

Bashir is also been wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Darfur conflict.

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