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Sudan police break up anti-regime protest in Khartoum

Demonstrators march on presidential palace to demand President Omar al-Bashir's resignation

Ali H. M.Abo Rezeg  | 17.01.2019
Sudan police break up anti-regime protest in Khartoum

KHARTOUM

Sudanese police on Thursday dispersed anti-regime demonstrators as they marched on the presidential palace in Khartoum.

Before being forcibly dispersed, protesters had tried to deliver a petition to the presidency calling on President Omar al-Bashir to relinquish power.

Eyewitnesses told Anadolu Agency that police had used teargas to disperse “thousands” of marchers, dozens of whom, they said, were arrested.

Thousands of army and police personnel, meanwhile, have reportedly been deployed throughout the city.

In a Wednesday statement, Sudan’s Professional Association predicted that at least 12 Sudanese cities would host major demonstrations on Thursday.

Since mid-December, several parts of Sudan have been rocked by protests. Demonstrators decry the government’s apparent failure to rein in inflation and remedy acute commodity shortages.

At least 19 protesters have been killed in clashes with security forces, although opposition spokesmen say the number is closer to 40.

In power since 1989, al-Bashir has pledged to carry out urgent economic reforms amid ongoing calls by the opposition to continue protesting.

A nation of some 40 million, Sudan has struggled to recover from the loss of three quarters of its oil output -- its main source of foreign currency -- since the secession of South Sudan in 2011.

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