February 22, 2019
KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Security forces fired teargas to disperse hundreds of protesters who marched and chanted anti-government slogans following Friday prayers at a major mosque near the Sudanese capital, eyewitnesses said.
The demonstration in the city of Omdurman outside Al-Sayed Abd al-Rahman al-Mahdi mosque, which has ties to the opposition Umma party, was the latest in what have become near-daily protests in Sudan since Dec. 19.
Protesters chanted “the revolution is the choice of the people” and “fall, that’s it”, to express that their only demand is the end of President Omar al-Bashir’s rule.
The demonstrations were triggered by price increases and cash shortages but have developed into the most sustained challenge to Bashir since he took power three decades ago.
Activists say nearly 60 people have been killed during two months of protests, while authorities put the death toll at 32, including three security personnel.
Security forces have used tear gas and live bullets to disperse protesters, and have arrested people including opposition party members, activists and journalists.
Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court over charges of masterminding genocide in the Darfur region, which he denies. He has been lobbying for Sudan to be removed from a list of countries Washington deems state sponsors of terrorism.
The listing has blocked the investment and financial aid that Sudan was hoping for when the United States lifted sanctions in 2017, economists say.
Sudan has been rapidly expanding its money supply in an attempt to finance its budget deficit, causing spiraling inflation and a steep decline in the value of its currency.
(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Lena Masri; Editing by Frances Kerry)