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Sudan’s al-Bashir accuses infiltrators of killing protesters

Al-Bashir addressing a Sufi crowd at Al-Kireida area in White Nile State on 20 January 2019 (ST photo)
January 20, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir Sunday accused infiltrators and saboteurs of killing the demonstrators saying weapons used in the killings don’t exist in Sudan.

Addressing an annual gathering of Sufi sects at Al-Kireida area in White Nile State, some 392 km southwest of the capital Khartoum, al-Bashir said infiltrators have exploited the protests to burn and destroy properties and kill the demonstrators.

“The doctor of Burri [neighbourhood] was killed from within the protest by a weapon that is neither held by the army and police nor does it exist in Sudan,” said al-Bashir.

He pointed out that detainees from the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-AW) led by Abdel-Wahid al-Nur confessed that they have been ordered to infiltrate the protests and kill demonstrators in order to ignite the crisis and destroy the country.

Al-Bashir added he was advised to delay his visit to the White Nile State for security reasons but he insisted to carry it out.

The Sudanese president further pointed that he had intended to “hand over the flag” [i.e. step down] if the White Nile residents boycotted his visit, saying however crowds have lined up along the road to welcome him.

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 President Omar al-Bashir to step down.

The Sudanese government has confirmed the deaths of 24 people in the course of the protests but other credible reports including from Amnesty International suggest the death toll is nearly twice as high.

Sudanese security apparatus chief Salah Gosh accused Israeli-recruited elements of the SLM-AW of carrying out acts of violence and sabotage in the country.

On 28 December, the Sudanese government said the security forces clashed in al-Droushab area, north of Khartoum with armed elements of the SLM-AW before to capture them.

Also, they broadcasted a video where the arrested Darfurians confess they were preparing attack public institutions, burn vehicles and kill protesters.

However, the SLM-AW leader dismissed the government claims as “unfounded accusations”, saying the regime is actually attempting to distract the Sudanese people from their battle for freedom and democracy.