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Sudanese rally for second time despite state of emergency

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Protesters took to the street in Jabra district of Khartoum state on 28 February , 2019 (ST Photo)
March 7, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - For the second time since the imposition of the state of emergency, protesters have taken to the streets in Khartoum state defying the security forces which violently dispersed protests and arrested dozen of them.

Thousands of Sudanese Thursday responded positively to a call by the Sudanese Professional Association (SPA) to take part in the march of the "Sudanese Women’s Advocacy" on the occasion of International Women’s Day, on 8 March.

The State of emergency was declared by President Omer al-Bashir on 22 February 2019. The government says it is aimed at fighting corruption and redress the economic situation but in fact, it is imposed to ban the protests.

The protests in Khartoum, Omdurman and Khartoum North have been characterized by the significant participation of women who chanted slogans critical of President Omer al-Bashir and calling for his departure, despite the ban of demonstrations under the emergency law.

The most important demonstrations took place in southern Khartoum neighbourhoods especially Al-Kalakala, Jabra, Alshajara and Al Hamadab, where protesters chanted slogans calling for regime change and for freedom and change.

In Burri district, in the east of Khartoum, huge security forces and riot police were deployed in the area to break up the huge protest and arrested dozens of demonstrators.

Also, the protesters managed to reach the 60th Street and join protesters from the areas of the Al-Mamourah and Al-Jiraif districts but the security forces to chase them.

From the besieged neighbourhood of Burri an eyewitness Majid Ali told Sudan Tribune that a large number of riot police with full equipment were deployed in the neighbourhood.

"The whole area was combed for more than three hours," Ali said.

He added that the security members chased the protesters and focused on the young women who were significantly present in the demonstration. He further said the police fired tear gas, resulting in suffocation the demonstrators who were surrounded from three sides.

"They were subjected to severe beatings and abuse," he said.

At the National University in Khartoum, the police fired tear gas on the students inside the university campus after they went out to demonstrate and take part in the protests.

Security officers beat students after they fell to the ground, and their colleagues were arrested and severely beaten also.

A number of National University students were taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries and gas inhalation.

In Omdurman and Khartoum North, the security forces used tear gas to disperse the protesters and beat those they manage to arrest before to take them to jail and emergency courts.

The security forces recently started to abstain from shooting live ammunition on the protesters after huge international pressures.

Furthermore, a video was broadcast on the social media showing a large number of police forces storming the house of Omer Hadra, a figure of the opposition Democratic Unionist Party for the second time this week to search demonstrators and arrested them.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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