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Sudanese protesters keep up pressure on Bashir | News



Thousands or protesters have rallied for a second successive day outside the headquarters of the Sudanese army in capital, Khartoum, urging the country's military to back their demands for President Omar al-Bashir to resign.

Chanting "Sudan is rising, the army is rising, "crowds massed on Sunday outside the complex, which also houses Bashir's official residence and the defense ministry.

Sudanese police fired gas at the demonstrators in a bid to disperse the protest, AFP news agency reported

The protest movement began as a reaction to a government decision to triple the price of bread in December, but it has since escalated into growing demands for Bashir's departure after three decades in office. [1

9659004] Many of those protesting at the complex on Sunday had camped at the site overnight following demonstrations at the location on Saturday, which saw one of the largest turnouts in the months-long rallies again st the president's rule

Protest organizers chose April 6 to start the rally outside the army headquarters to mark the 1985 uprising that toppled the administration of then-President Jaafar Nimeiri. The military removed Nimeiri before handing over power to an elected government, which was overthrown by al-Bashir in a 1989 coup.

Bashir, meanwhile, has refused to step down, saying that his opponents need to seek power through the ballot box and on Sunday chaired a meeting of the country's security council.

"The security council confirms that the protesters are part of the Sudanese community and their vision and demands have to be heard," the Presidency said in a statement afterwards. "The council will take measures to enhance peace and security across the country."

Scores killed, HRW says

Sarah Abdel-Jaleel, a spokeswoman For the Sudanese Professionals Association, The Associated Press news agency was killed in Khartoum by security forces. Another protest was killed at a separate demonstration in Omdurman, Sudan's second most popular city , Abdel-Jaleel said

The state-run SUNA news agency on Saturday quoted police spokesman General Hashim Abdel-Rahim as saying that one person was killed "during disturbances in Omdurman". He called the protests "illegal gatherings".

Human Rights Watch has said that at least 51 people have been killed during the demonstrations, however.

Hundreds of protesters, including opposition leaders, activists and journalists have also been jailed by the widely-feared National Intelligence and Security Service.

Critics accuse Bashir of mismanaging the economy, leading to soaring food prices and regular shortages of fuel

Sunday's protests coincided with a nationwide blackout that the electricity ministry blamed on a technical glitch.

Bashir has acknowledged that the economic concerns raised by protesters are "legitimate", though he imposes emergency rule on February 22 After an initial crackdown failed in the protests

The Sudanese leader's term ends in 2020 and he has repeatedly promised the years not to make new runs for the presidency. Without amending the country's constitution, he cannot run for a third term.

SOURCE:
             al Jazeera and news agencies


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