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Mass Demonstrations in Omdurman Denounce Arrest of Protesters

Mass Demonstrations in Omdurman Denounce Arrest of Protesters

Monday, 11 February, 2019 - 12:30
Demonstrators burn tires as they participate in anti-government protests in Omdurman, Khartoum, Sudan January 20, 2019. (Reuters)
Khartoum - Ahmed Younes
Sudanese security forces dispersed on Sunday a mass protest that marched on a women’s prison in Omdurman, calling for the release of detainees arrested in anti-government demonstrations and demanding that President Omar al-Bashir step down along with his government.

Organized by the “No to Women's Oppression Initiative”, the rally took place near the prison where hundreds of women and girls are said to be locked up after they were arrested for taking part in the anti-government rallies, said the opposition.

Women chanted slogans calling for the government to step down and held banners bearing revolutionary slogans. They were joined by more protesters, women and men alike.

Security forces had deployed around the perimeter of the prison to prevent the demonstration from going any further.

Land Cruiser pickups, driven by men in official uniform, blocked the road leading to the prison, forcing the protesters to change their course to a side street.

Despite calls to avoid excessive use of violence against peaceful demonstrators, security forces fired tear gas to disperse them. Several were arrested.

Witnesses estimated that the number of detainees on Sunday exceeded 30, most of whom were arrested in a nearby hospital where they tried to take cover from the security forces.

Meanwhile, head of the National Intelligence and Security Services Salah Gosh said all official forces stood behind what he called “legitimacy.”

The only way for change to take place is through holding elections, he stressed.

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