Sudanese streets barricaded, shops closed after 7 killed

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Khartoum (AFP) – Sudanese closed shops and barricaded streets in Khartoum on Tuesday in a campaign of civil disobedience to protest one of the bloodiest days since an October coup derailed the country’s democratic transition.

Security forces killed at least seven people in anti-coup protests by the thousands on Monday, bringing the total number of victims of the crackdown on anti-coup protests to 71, according to medics.

Sudan’s main civilian bloc, the Forces for Freedom and Change, called for two days of civil disobedience on Tuesday.

“Store closed for mourning,” read a series of small signs displayed at closed outlets at the sprawling Sajane building materials market in Khartoum. One of the merchants, Othman el-Sherif, was among those shot dead on Monday.

In several other districts of Khartoum too, many pharmacies and other businesses have been closed, according to an AFP correspondent.

Sudan University of Science and Technology has suspended all activities as part of civil disobedience, according to an official statement.

As they do regularly, police on Tuesday fired tear gas at dozens of protesters setting up roadblocks, this time in the streets of eastern Khartoum, according to an AFP correspondent.

Following Monday’s death, UN Special Representative Volker Perthes condemned the use of live ammunition and the US Embassy criticized the “violent tactics of Sudanese security forces”, the latest calls from this type launched by the world powers, which did not curb the increase in the death toll.

Khartoum AFP

Washington’s Assistant Secretary of State, Molly Phee, and Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, David Satterfield, were expected in Khartoum where they “would reiterate our call for the security forces to end the violence and respect freedom of expression and peaceful assembly,” spokesman Ned Price said. .

On Monday, Sudanese police said they had used “least force” to counter the protests, during which around 50 police officers were injured in clashes.

Authorities have repeatedly denied using live ammunition against protesters and insist that dozens of security personnel have been injured in protests that have occurred regularly since the October 25 coup.

A police general was stabbed to death last week.

On Tuesday, the Friends of Sudan group calling for the restoration of the country’s transitional government held talks in Saudi Arabia over the crisis.

“Deeply concerned about yesterday’s violence. International support and influence is needed. Support for the political process must go hand in hand with active support to end the violence,” UN Perthes said on Twitter, after attending the meeting virtually.