Sudanese forces fire tear gas as protesters march towards the presidential palace

Protesters opposing the military regime reached the outskirts of the presidential palace in the capital Khartoum for the second time in a week on Saturday, televised footage showed, despite powerful tear gas and a communications blackout. A Reuters witness said Sudanese security forces fired tear gas to disperse crowds on a tenth day of large protests since the October 25 coup.

The protests continued even after Abdallah Hamdok was reinstated as prime minister last month. A week ago, protesters managed to start a sit-in outside the palace gates, but on Saturday they encountered rows of security forces.

Internet services were disrupted in the capital, Khartoum, and residents were unable to make or receive national calls on Saturday, witnesses said, as soldiers and Rapid Support Forces blocked roads leading to the villages. bridges connecting Khartoum to Omdurman, its sister city across the Nile. . Still, people managed to post images on social media showing protests taking place in several other cities, including Madani and Atbara.

In the nearby town of Omdurman, security forces also fired tear gas at protesters about 2 kilometers from a bridge connecting the town to central Khartoum, another Reuters witness said. “CHAOS AND ABUS”

The national news agency SUNA reported that Khartoum province closed bridges on Friday evening in anticipation of the protests. “Straying from the peace, approaching and encroaching on sovereign and strategic sites in central Khartoum is a violation of the law,” SUNA reported, citing a provincial security coordination committee.

“Chaos and abuse will be addressed,” he added. Protesters demanded military play no role in government during transition to free elections

Protesters in Khartoum chanted: “Close the street! Close the bridge! Burhan will come directly to you ”, referring to the military leader and head of the sovereign council Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. They were also heard applauding when security forces fired tear gas, a Reuters witness said.

A senior official at an internet service provider told Reuters that the shutdown followed a decision by the National Telecommunication Corporation, which oversees the industry. The UN special representative in Sudan, Volker Perthes, has urged the Sudanese authorities not to oppose the protests scheduled for Saturday.

“Freedom of expression is a human right. This includes full internet access. According to international conventions, no one should be arrested for intent to demonstrate peacefully, ”Perthes said. The military could not be reached immediately for comment.

In Darfur, Governor Minni Minnawi called on citizens to stop looting the offices of UNAMID peacekeepers on Friday evening, sources telling Reuters they heard gunshots in the area on Saturday morning. Hundreds of thousands of people marched towards the presidential palace last Sunday and security forces fired bursts of tear gas and stun grenades as they dispersed protesters trying to stage a sit-in.

Forty-eight people have been killed in the crackdown on protests since the coup, the Sudanese Central Medical Committee said.

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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