CAIRO – A Sudanese protester was shot dead during mass demonstrations against the recent military takeover and a subsequent deal that reinstated Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok but sidelined the movement, a medical group said Monday.
Tens of thousands of Sudanese took to the streets in the capital, Khartoum, and elsewhere in the country Sunday. The protests marked the third anniversary of the uprising that eventually forced the military removal of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir and his Islamist government in April 2019.
Security forces fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators attempting to stage a sit-in near the presidential palace on the bank of the Blue Nile in the heart of Khartoum.
There were also protests in elsewhere in the country, such as the coastal city of Port Sudan, the eastern city of Kassala and the northern city of Atbara, the birthplace of the uprising against al-Bashir.
The Sudan Doctors Committee said a 28-year-old man was killed after he was shot in the chest during Sunday’s demonstrations in the East Nile area in Khartoum.
More than 120 people were wounded in clashes between protesters and security forces in Khartoum, the Health Ministry said in a statement. Two other protesters were wounded in Kassala, it said.
The protests were one of the largest since the military took over on Oct. 25, removing Hamdok’s transitional government. The coup has rattled the transition and led to relentless street demonstrations.
At least 45 people were killed, and hundreds wounded in protests triggered by the coup, according to a tally by the Sudanese medical group.
Hamdok was reinstated last month amid international pressure in a deal that calls for an independent technocratic Cabinet under military oversight led by him.
The prime minister has yet to announce his Cabinet, amid talks to agree on a “new political charter” focused on establishing a broader consensus among all political forces and movements.
He defended the Nov. 21 deal with the military, saying Saturday that it was meant to preserve achievements his government made in the past two years, and to “protect our nation from sliding to a new international isolation.”
The Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change has meanwhile rejected the deal between Hamdok and Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, head of the ruling Sovereign Council and coup architect. The pro-democracy alliance vowed to continue street protests to pressure coup leaders to hand over power to a civilian government to lead the transition.
Brig. Gen. Al-Tahir Abu Hagga, a media advisor of Burhan, meanwhile urged political parties and movements “to unify their programs and strategies” to succeed the transitional democracy.
“The flagrant, controversial and hostile tone (of the protesters) could impede the smooth democratic transition,” he said. “The Nov. 21 deal...is the basis on which transitional political visions should be built.”