Protesters hit Sudan streets to demand reforms, justice

Riot police officers hold position against protesters near the Parliament buildings, as members of Sudanese pro-democracy protest on the anniversary of a major anti-military protest, while groups loyal to toppled leader Omar Al-Bashir plan rival demonstrations, in Omdurman, Khartoum, Sudan June 30, 2020. (Reuters)
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Updated 01 July 2020

Protesters hit Sudan streets to demand reforms, justice

  • Many chanted the catchphrase of anti-Bashir protests: “Freedom, peace and justice”

KHARTOUM: Tens of thousands of Sudanese protesters took to the streets on Tuesday calling for reforms and demanding justice for those killed in anti-government demonstrations that ousted president Omar Bashir last year.

The protests in several cities and the capital Khartoum went ahead with security forces deployed in force and despite a tight curfew since April designed to curb the spread of coronavirus.

“Our demands are peace ... and justice. We call for economic reform and appointment of civilian governors to states,” said a protester in Burri, east of Khartoum.

“This march is to put the revolution back on course, not to overthrow the government.”

Many chanted the catchphrase of anti-Bashir protests: “Freedom, peace and justice.”

In Dongola, north of the capital, hundreds carried banners demanding “retribution” for demonstrators killed in clashes with security forces last year.

Similarly, in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur, demonstrators draped in the Sudanese flag carried banners that read: “Retribution and peace.”

Protesters also gathered in Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman and Zalingei, the capital of Central Darfur.

At least 246 were killed and hundreds others wounded during the 2018-19 anti-government protests, according to doctors linked to Sudan’s protest movement.

Tuesday’s rallies coincided with the 31st anniversary of the 1989 military coup that brought Bashir to power.

Bashir was ousted by the military in April 2019 following months-long mass protests against his 30-year rule, in an uprising triggered by economic hardship.

Sudan has since August been led by a civilian-majority administration presiding over a three-year transitional period.

The country is reeling from economic woes, largely blamed on Bashir-era policies. Since his ouster, the former strongman has been detained and he was handed a two-year prison sentence on corruption charges in December.

He faces separate charges over the deaths of protesters and the 1989 coup.

Bashir is also been wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Darfur conflict.


Historic downtown Cairo building collapse injures 5

Updated 15 August 2020

Historic downtown Cairo building collapse injures 5

  • An investigation has been launched to assess the cause of the sudden collapse of the heritage-listed building

CAIRO: A listed building in the center of Egypt’s capital partially collapsed injuring five people Saturday, in the latest such incident, a security source said.
Authorities who rushed to the building on Kasr Al-Nile street, near the iconic Tahrir Square, tended to 14 people including passersby and transported five to hospitals, the source said.
An investigation has been launched to assess the cause of the sudden collapse of the heritage-listed building, Cairo’s governorate said on its Facebook page.
It said the damaged four-story property housed several stores and two residential apartments.
An AFP reporter at the scene surrounded by rubble, full of ambulances and fire trucks, said “the building is gutted and barely holding up.”
Building collapses in Egypt occur frequently due to lax enforcement of construction and maintenance regulations as well as developers illegally adding floors to boost profits.
In July, a building in the upmarket Cairo suburb of Zamalek, close to embassies, showed deep cracks prompting authorities to evacuate residents fearing its collapse.
One of the worst such urban disasters struck in 2014 when a Cairo building caved in, killing 19 people.
Downtown Cairo boasts buildings that are nearly 200 years old, blending Islamic and European motifs, neo-classical columns and ornate decorations.
Many UNESCO-listed have fallen into disrepair and ruin in Egypt’s drive for urban renewal.