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Security authorities say Khartoum’s protest site has become dangerous

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Sudanese demonstrators hold Friday prayers at the protest camp outside army headquarters in Khartoum on 3 May 2019 (AFP photo)
May 30, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese security authorities Thursday said that the square of the sit-in outside the army headquarters has become a hotspot for crimes, a threat to the protesters and the country and vowed to deal with the illegal activities.

The joint security committee, comprising the armed forces, the police, the security services, the intelligence services and the Rapid Support Forces, issued a statement Thursday night saying the site of protest has become a hotbed of crime where the protesters are faced with the prospect of theft, drugs and violent brawls.

"The legitimate protest was exploited by the uncontrollable elements that have an agenda different from the agenda of the revolution and the demonstrators. As a result, many unlawful practices spread (in the area) to the extent of threatening the lives of the citizens, intimidating them, target their belongings, and provoke the regular forces and engage them in frictions at different levels".

Also, those who carry out these activities provoke the security forces in some individual and isolated abuses that resulted in the loss of innocent lives, further stressed the statement.

The military spokesperson, in his statement which was broadcast late on Thursday, accused unruly elements at the protest site of taking over a vehicle belonging to the Rapid Support Forces, adding that "the sit-in area has become a threat to the country and the protesters."

However, the statement raised suspicions in Khartoum and many considered it as a prelude to an attack by the security forces to end the sit-in that has begun on 6 April when the protesters occupied the square outside the headquarters of the armed forces in Khartoum.

The statement comes after the killing of a 20-year-old man who was shot dead on Thursday in Nile Street in Khartoum during an exchange of fire between regular forces.

The incident is the second of its kind in 24 hours, in the area located around the protest site. On Wednesday a pregnant woman was killed Wednesday by a soldier who the Sudanese army said was drunk.

In addition on Thursday, the Sudanese foreign ministry addressed a letter to diplomatic missions in Khartoum requesting them to stop visiting the sit-in area for security reasons.

(ST)

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