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The New Arab Staff

Dozens arrested in Sudan protests marking anniversary of power-sharing deal

Protesters are demanding the immediate formation of a civilian-led parliament [Getty]

Date of publication: 18 August, 2020

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Protesters were met with tear gas and rubber bullets as they marched to address their demands to the prime minister.
Sudanese security forces on Monday arrested dozens of protesters calling for reforms on the first anniversary of the power-sharing agreement between the military and civilians following the ousting of former dictator Omar al-Bashir.

Demonstrators gathered in the capital Khartoum and neighbouring Omdurman, Radio Dabanga reported, renewing calls to meet promises made in last year's power-sharing deal.

A key demand of protesters is the formation of a civilian-led legislative council, as written in last August's constitutional declaration signed by military and protest leaders.
 

Demonstrators were also calling for the restructuring of Sudan's armed forces on Monday, when they marched to the Council of Ministers to hand-deliver a list of demands to Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who they were told was not available.

Protesters were met with a heavy police presence, with a number of demonstrators reportedly injured by the use of tear gas, rubber-coated bullets and batons according to the Central Committee for Sudanese Doctors.

At least 77 demonstrators were arrested, according to the Khartoum Resistance Committees, an association of grassroots neighbouring organisations involved in protests since December 2018.

Responding to public anger around the police response to the protest, the interior ministry stated on Tuesday that the police performed their duty "in line with the law".

For his part, the newly appointed civilian governor of Khartoum condemned the use of force as "excessive".

The Sudanese military toppled former President Omar al-Bashir in April last year following months of mass protests against his nearly thirty-year rule.

Demonstrations against the country's new military rulers continued, with protesters calling for the immediate peaceful handover of power.

Violence against demonstrators continued however, with more than a 120 killed in the dispersal of a Khartoum protest camp in June last year.

Military and civilian protest leaders ultimately came to a power-sharing agreement in August, forming a joint military-civilian sovereign council and a council of ministers led by Prime Minister Hamdok, a former United Nations economist.

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