Tear Gas Fired at Sudan Anti-Coup Protest as UN Expert Arrives

Sudanese security forces on Sunday fired tear gas at protesters demonstrating against last year’s military coup, an AFP correspondent said, as a United Nations human rights expert arrived in the country.

Thousands rallied in the capital Khartoum, carrying the Sudanese flags and posters of people killed during anti-coup demonstrations in recent months.

Security forces fired tear gas and wounded several protesters who were heading toward the presidential palace in central Khartoum, the correspondent said.

“We are ready to protest all year,” said one demonstrator, 24-year-old Thoyaba Ahmed.

Regular protests have rocked the northeast African country since army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan led a military takeover in October, sparking international condemnation.

The move derailed a transition painstakingly negotiated between military and civilian leaders following the 2019 ouster of president Omar al-Bashir.

“We want to rectify our country’s situation to have a good future,” demonstrator Wadah Khaled told AFP.

At least 81 people have been killed and hundreds wounded in a violent crackdown on the protests, according to an independent medics group.

“We need to make sacrifices to resolve the country’s issues,” 25-year-old demonstrator Arij Salah said.

U.N. human rights expert Adama Dieng, meanwhile, is visiting Sudan until Thursday, on a trip initially planned for last month but postponed at the request of Sudanese authorities.

“Dieng will meet with senior Sudanese government officials, representatives of civil society organizations, human rights defenders, heads of U.N. entities, and diplomats,” the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said in a statement this week.

Separately Sunday, dozens rallied outside a court complex in Khartoum to protest against the trial of several Bashir-era figures, an AFP correspondent said.

Among those on trial is former foreign minister Ibrahim Ghandour, who faces charges over plotting a coup in 2020.

Ghandour’s family said last month that he had begun a hunger strike in prison, along with several ex-regime officials.¬†

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