Police disperse protest march on Sudan women’s prison

Cars block a road as Sudanese demonstrators stage an anti-government protests in Khartoum, Sudan January 25, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 10 February 2019

Police disperse protest march on Sudan women’s prison

  • “We are fighters, we will complete our mission,” protesters chanted as women ululated and men flashed the victory sign

KHARTOUM: Police used tear gas Sunday to disperse hundreds of Sudanese protesters who marched on a women’s prison in Omdurman calling for the release of detainees arrested in anti-government protests, witnesses said.
“We are fighters, we will complete our mission,” protesters chanted as women ululated and men flashed the victory sign, according to the witnesses.
The protesters called for the release of women arrested in ongoing demonstrations against President Omar Al-Bashir’s three-decade rule, the witnesses said.
Marchers also called for the “overthrow” of Bashir, as they approached the prison in Omdurman — the twin city of the capital Khartoum — before they were dispersed.
The march was called by the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which is spearheading the protest campaign.
The SPA, an umbrella body of doctors, engineers and teachers, called Sunday’s march a “Rally for Women Detainees.”
“Women are taking the lead in the protest movement,” a female protester taking part in Sunday’s rally told AFP without revealing her name for security reasons.
“The SPA has called today’s march in honor of female detainees and this will inspire us to continue until we achieve success.”
Bashir on Wednesday pinned the unrest in part on Sudan’s decades-old public order law, and also acknowledged that growing economic hardships have angered youths and sent them out into the streets.
Activists say the law targets mainly women, often accusing them of “indecent dressing and immoral behavior.”
More than 1,000 people, including protesters, activists, opposition leaders and journalists have been arrested since the protests began.
Witnesses said that after the march on the prison was dispersed, protesters launched a new rally in another area of Omdurman called Street 40.
“We are all Ahmed,” chanted protesters as riot police fired tear gas, a witness said, referring to detainee Ahmed Al-Kheir, who died in detention last week in the eastern town of Khashm el-Girba.
Kheir was taken away from his home by security agents and his family was later informed about his death. He had been arrested for allegedly organizing protests in his hometown, a relative told AFP.
Protesters also rallied in a district of Khartoum but were swiftly dispersed with tear gas, witnesses said.
Initial demonstrations erupted on December 19 against a government decision to triple the price of bread, and quickly escalated into calls for Bashir to step down.
Officials say 30 people have died in protest-related violence, while Human Rights Watch says at least 51 people have been killed.


Yemeni government back in Aden under deal with separatists

Updated 8 min 55 sec ago

Yemeni government back in Aden under deal with separatists

  • Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed landed in Aden, fulfilling a key point in the power-sharing deal brokered by Saudi Arabia
  • Saeed was accompanied by five key ministers from President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s government

ADEN: Yemen’s internationally recognized government returned to the war-torn country on Monday for the first time since it was forced out by southern separatists during clashes last summer.
Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed landed in Aden, fulfilling a key point in the power-sharing deal brokered by Saudi Arabia that ended months of infighting with separatists in Yemen’s south.
“The government’s priorities in the next stage are to normalize the situation in Aden first and then consolidate state institutions on the ground ... as a guarantor of stability,” Saeed told The Associated Press when he disembarked onto the tarmac.
He described the government’s return as “foundational for the improvement of civic services,” but added that “security challenges cannot be overlooked, especially at this stage.”
Saeed, accompanied by five key ministers from President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s government, was received by local officials and Saudi forces at the air base.
“Today we are uniting our efforts to defeat the Iranian project in Yemen and restore the state,” the government said in a statement.
In August, the separatists, overran Aden and drove out forces loyal to President Hadi, who has been based in Saudi Arabia since 2015.
The outbreak of violence between nominal partners in the coalition fighting against Iran-allied Houthi rebels added a new twist to the country’s complex civil war.
The power-sharing deal, signed earlier this month in Riyadh, calls for both sides to pull their forces out of Aden. That leaves the city under the coalition’s control, with only a presidential guard for Hadi’s protection if the exiled president were to return.
The agreement also asks that the separatists break up their militias and integrate them into Hadi’s forces.
“The plan for incorporating the security services needs to be clear and transparent,” Saeed told The Associated Press. “We have the support of the Saudis and the coalition leaders, factors that will help to implement the agreement through promising steps on the ground.”
The conflict in the Arab’s world’s poorest country started in 2014, when the Houthi rebels captured the capital, Sanaa, along with much of the country’s north. The Saudi-led alliance intervened in 2015 to drive out the Houthis and restore Hadi’s government.