At least seven killed, dozens injured as protesters descend on Khartoum presidential palace

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Five protesters were killed on Sunday during mass demonstrations that rocked the country as tens of thousands of people protested against the ruling generals. (AFP)
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Sudanese protesters shout slogans as they march during a demonstration against the military council, in Khartoum, Sudan, Sunday, June 30, 2019. (AP)
Updated 03 July 2019

At least seven killed, dozens injured as protesters descend on Khartoum presidential palace

  • Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets in Sudan’s capital
  • The demonstrations came amid a weeks-long standoff between the ruling military council and protest leaders

KHARTOUM: At least seven protesters were killed on Sunday, and dozens others injured, during mass demonstrations that rocked the country as tens of thousands of people protested against the ruling generals, doctors' committee linked to the protest movement said.

"The death of four martyrs in the city of Omdurman on the road of our victorious revolution brings the number of martyrs to five" in Sunday's protests, the committee said, after it reported earlier that a protester was shot dead in the town of Atbara.

"There are several seriously wounded by the bullets of the military council militias in hospitals of the capital and the provinces," it added.

It came as a protester's group called for a march on Sudan’s presidential palace despite a heavy security deployment as thousands of demonstrators rallied against the generals in a mass rally demanding civilian rule.

“We call on our revolutionary people in the capital to go to the republican palace... to seek justice for the martyrs and for an unconditional transfer of power to civilians,” the Sudanese Professionals Association said in a statement on Twitter.

Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets in Sudan’s capital and elsewhere in the country to reiterate their call for civilian rule, nearly three months after the army forced out the autocrat Omar Al-Bashir.

The demonstrations came amid a weeks-long standoff between the ruling military council and protest leaders. Talks between the two sides over a power-sharing agreement collapsed earlier this month when security forces violently broke up a protest camp in Khartoum.

The marches, the first since the June 3 crackdown, also mark the 30th anniversary of the coup that brought Al-Bashir to power in 1989, toppling Sudan's last elected government. The military removed Al-Bashir in April amid mass protests against his rule.

The crowds gathered at several points across the capital and its sister city of Omdurman before marching toward the homes of those killed since the uprising began.

"This is a very important day for the Sudanese people," protester Hamdi Karamallah said.

The protest movement erupted in December, triggered by an economic crisis. The protesters remained in the streets after al-Bashir was overthrown and jailed, fearing that the military would cling to power or preserve much of his regime.

On Sunday, protesters chanted anti-military slogans like "Burhan's council, just fall", according to video clips circulated online. Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan is head of the military council.

Video clips showed protesters running away from security forces in the streets of Khartoum and seeking shelter from clouds of tear gas.

On a highway leading to Khartoum's international airport, a convoy of troops and riot police allowed some demonstrators to pass through as they headed toward the house of a protester who was killed earlier this month.


Lebanese women march in Beirut against sexual harassment

Updated 12 min 22 sec ago

Lebanese women march in Beirut against sexual harassment

  • Protesters call for law allowing Lebanese women married to foreigners to pass their citizenship to their husbands and children
  • Women also protest against sexual harassment and bullying

BEIRUT: Scores of women marched through the streets of Beirut on Saturday to protest against sexual harassment and bullying and demanding rights including the passing of citizenship to children of Lebanese women married to foreigners.
The march started outside the American University of Beirut, west of the capital, and ended in a downtown square that has been witnessing daily protests for more than seven weeks.
Nationwide demonstrations in Lebanon broke out Oct. 17 against proposed taxes on WhatsApp calls turned into a condemnation of the country’s political elite, who have run the country since the 1975-90 civil war. The government resigned in late October, meeting a key demand of the protesters.
“We want to send a message against sexual harassment. They say that the revolution is a woman, therefore, if there is a revolution, women must be part of it,” said protester Berna Dao. “Women are being raped, their right is being usurped, and they are not able to pass their citizenship.”
Activists have been campaigning for years so that parliament drafts a law that allows Lebanese women married to foreigners pass their citizenship to their husbands and children.
Earlier this year, Raya Al-Hassan became the first woman in the Arab world to take the post of interior minister. The outgoing Cabinet has four women ministers, the highest in the country in decades.
Lebanon is passing through a crippling economic and financial crisis that has worsened since the protests began.
During the women’s protest in Riad Solh Square, a man set himself on fire before people nearby extinguished the flames. His motivation was not immediately clear and an ambulance came shortly afterward and evacuated him.
Also on Saturday, outgoing Prime Minister Saad Hariri appealed to more countries to help Lebanon in its crisis to import essential goods. The request made in a letter to the leaders of Germany, Spain and Britain, came a day after Hariri sent similar letters to other countries including Saudi Arabia, US, Russia and China.