Home | News    Tuesday 9 April 2019

Sudanese army ordered to disperse mass sit-in by force: spokesperson

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A female activist speaks to the protesters gathered outside the army headquarters in Khartoum on 9 April 2019 (ST Photo)
April 9, 2019 (KHARTOUM) The security committee has ordered to disperse the protesters’ sit-in in front of the military headquarters by force, said Sudan Armed Forces spokesperson Ahmed Khalifa al-Shami

Since Saturday, thousands of protesters have staged a mass sit-in in front of the SAF command in Khartoum. Some young army officers joined the protesters and called on their colleagues to back the popular uprising against President Omer al-Bashir.

In an interview with the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya Al-Hadath TV, al-Shami said “the security committee ordered to disperse the sit-in because it has undermined the security and produced negative phenomena”.

Commenting on the confrontations between the security forces and some army elements, al-Shami said: “our intelligence information points that the gunshots are fired by infiltrators among the demonstrators”.

He underscored their loyalty to President Omer al-Bashir as Commander-in-Chief of the SAF, saying the protection of the citizens is one of their duties.

In early hours on Tuesday, the military clashed with the security agents for the second time preventing attacks on the protesters who have been holding a sit-in since Saturday outside the premises of the army command. At least five demonstrators and two army soldiers were reported killed during the clashes.

Several other army officers were seen with the protesters outside the army headquarters on Tuesday morning following the clashes with the assailants.

The move reflects the complex situation Khartoum is experiencing on Tuesday as a split may happen inside the armed forces.

POLICE WOULDN’T ATTACK PEACEFUL GATHERINGS

For its part, the Sudanese police have ordered its affiliates not to attack the peaceful gatherings.

In a press release on Tuesday, police spokesperson Hashim Ali Abdel-Rahim said: “directives have been issued to police in Khartoum and all states to refrain from attacking peaceful gatherings and carry out their duties in maintaining lives and property, preventing crime and running traffic regulation and public safety procedures”.

Some observers have described the police statement as “significant development” particularly as the police forces have continued to prevent the peaceful gatherings and disperse it forcefully using tear gas. Also, police have stormed dozens of houses to pursue peaceful demonstrators.

On Tuesday, a police traffic officer First Lieutenant Taha Hassan Ali released a video announcing his defection from the police, saying he decided to join the protest at the headquarters of the army.

Video footages circulating on social media on Tuesday have shown police officers on their four-wheel-drive vehicles expressing support to the protesters waving victory signs.

(ST)

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