Protests rage on across Sudan as doctor and child are killed in violence

The protests have escalated into nationwide anti-government demonstrations that experts say pose the biggest challenge to Bashir since he took power in an Islamist-backed coup in 1989. (File/AP)
Updated 17 January 2019
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Protests rage on across Sudan as doctor and child are killed in violence

  • Rights group Human Rights Watch has put the death toll at 40, including children and medical staff
  • Bashir has remained steadfast in rejecting calls for him to resign

KHARTOUM: A doctor and a child were killed on Thursday as protests continued to rock the Sudanese capital of Khartoum and cities across the troubled country.

Police had earlier fired tear gas at protesters marching towards the presidential palace, witnesses said, during a demonstration in the capital to demand the resignation of President Omar Al-Bashir.

Demonstrators chanting "Freedom, peace, justice" gathered in central Khartoum and began their march but riot police quickly confronted them with tear gas, the witnesses told AFP.

Anti-government protests that erupted across Sudan on December 19, after the government raised the price of bread, have turned into daily nationwide demonstrations against Bashir's three decades of rule.

Sudan faced calls from Western powers at the UN Security Council on Thursday to respect the rights of anti-government demonstrators and investigate violence that has left at least 24 dead.
The council was meeting to discuss the situation in Sudan's troubled Darfur region but the United States, France, Britain and others raised serious concerns about the protest violence.
Britain slammed as "unacceptable" the use of deadly force by Sudanese security troops against the demonstrators and called for those responsible for the deaths of protesters to be held accountable.
"Security forces' use of lethal force and arbitrary detentions in response to peaceful protests is unacceptable and it should stop," said British Deputy Ambassador Jonathan Allen.
"We are appalled at reports that security forces have used tear gas and violence within hospitals against those being treated and against doctors providing medical assistance."

Protests were also held in the Red Sea town of Port Sudan and in Gadaref, witnesses told AFP by telephone, after organisers called for simultaneous demonstrations in 11 cities apart from Khartoum.

Ahead of the planned march, authorities had reinforced security forces in the capital's key areas.

An AFP journalist saw security personnel, many in plainclothes, stationed across the downtown area of Khartoum and along the expected route of Thursday's march.

Several army vehicles mounted with machineguns were stationed outside the palace.

Little traffic was seen at what is usually the height of the morning rush-hour as people stayed off the streets.

Officials say at least 24 people have died in the protests, but human rights group have put the death toll higher.

Amnesty International said last week that more than 40 people had been killed and more than 1,000 arrested.

Human Rights Watch said the dead did include children and medical staff.


Iran’s Zarif says risk of war with Israel is great

Updated 3 min 20 sec ago
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Iran’s Zarif says risk of war with Israel is great

  • FM said Israel’s behavior violates international law
  • He also criticized Europe for not calling out Israel and US for illegal behavior in the region

MUNICH: Iran’s foreign minister accused Israel of looking for war and warned that its behavior and that of the United States was increasing the chances of a clash in the region.
“Certainly, some people are looking for war ... Israel,” Mohammad Javad Zarif said at the Munich Security Conference.
Accusing Israel of violating international law after bombing campaigns in Syria, Zarif also criticized European powers for not calling out Israel and the United States for their behavior in the region.
“The risk (of war) is great. The risk will be even greater if you continue to turn a blind eye to severe violations of international law.
“Israeli behavior is putting international law on the shelf, US behavior is putting international law on the shelf.”
Zarif, who said Iran was committed to a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers for now, also accused France, Britain and Germany of not doing enough to ensure Tehran received the economic benefits of that accord.