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Khartoum (AFP) – Sudanese police fired tear gas on Monday as thousands of protesters rallied against the military-dominated government near the presidential palace in Khartoum, witnesses told AFP.
The demonstrators marched from various parts of the capital, many of them carrying national flags or chanting “No to military rule” and “The army may betray you, but the streets will never betray you”.
Protesters, in the last of many rallies in recent weeks, erected barricades on the road with stones and burning car tires, black smoke rising into the sky.
Sudan’s highest general, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, seized power and detained Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok on October 25, but, after international condemnation and mass protests, reinstated him in an agreement signed on November 21 .
Critics lashed out at the deal and accused Hamdok of “betrayal” after pro-democracy activists pledged to keep the pressure on military-civilian authority.
The general-in-chief has long insisted that the military’s decision was “not a coup” but a step “to rectify the transition” to full democracy that began with the ouster in 2019 of the autocratic president Omar al-Bashir.
Hamdok, prime minister of the transitional government, defended the agreement, which he signed after his effective release from house arrest.
He said he joined the military to “stop the bloodshed” which resulted from the crackdown on street protests against the coup, and so as not “to waste the gains of the past two years. “.
Nearly 45 people were killed in street rallies between October 25 and November 22 during clashes with security forces, and hundreds more were injured.
Sudan, one of the poorest countries in the world, has also recently suffered from soaring inflation and embarked on drastic economic reforms, including cutting subsidies on gasoline and diesel and launching a managed monetary float.
Thirty percent of the Sudanese population will need humanitarian aid next year, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs warned in a report on Monday, saying the rate is “the highest in a decade”.
He blamed Sudan’s economic crisis and the Covid pandemic, flooding and disease and the fact that Sudan also hosts millions of refugees and internally displaced people.
© 2021 AFP