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Thousands commemorate victims of Port Sudan massacre


January 29, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Thousands of residents in eastern Sudan on Tuesday have commemorated the 14th anniversary of the killing of 22 protesters in Port Sudan, capital of the Red Sea State.

Twenty-two people from the Beja ethnic group were killed in Port Sudan on 29 January 2005 when thousands of protesters called for the end of an armed conflict in the impoverished province and to provide job opportunities.

Eyewitnesses told Sudan Tribune that Port Sudan residents have gathered at Beja Square since early hours on Tuesday holding banners condemning the massacre and the government.

According to the eyewitnesses, police and security forces have surrounded the gathering and prevented the participants from taking to the streets but didn’t seek to disperse them.

For its part, the umbrella organization spearheading the ongoing popular protests in Sudan, Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) on its official webpage has pointed to the event, describing the massacre as “tragedy”.

It added the residents have shouted slogans denouncing the regime and calling for its immediate removal.

Also, the deputy chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N) Yasser Arman has addressed the event stressing the ongoing Sudanese revolution seeks retribution for the martyrs.

He called for the removal of the regime of president Omer al-Bashir, saying the Sudanese people would resist any attempts to reproduce the regime.

Arman added that consultations are underway among the opposition forces to engage more people and carry out qualitative moves to form a solid core to ensure the success of the revolution.

Large protests have been ongoing across Sudanese cities since 19 December. The demonstrations first began over fuel shortages and a hike in food prices but have now morphed into full-fledged protests calling for al-Bashir to step down.

The Sudanese government has confirmed the deaths of 29 people in the course of the protests but other credible reports including from Amnesty International suggest the death toll is nearly twice as high.

(ST)