Hundreds protest in Sudan city against killings of students

Sudanese protesters gather in the central Sudanese city of Al-Obeid on July 31, 2019, two days after five pupils were shot dead for protesting against a shortage of bread. (AFP)
Updated 31 July 2019

Hundreds protest in Sudan city against killings of students

  • ‘Those who committed these crimes must be brought to justice’

AL-OBEID/SUDAN: Hundreds of protesters marched through the streets of a central Sudanese city on Wednesday, denouncing the killing of six demonstrators there including schoolchildren at a rally this week.

“Blood for blood, we don’t want compensation,” chanted men and women as they marched in Al-Obeid where the killings took place on Monday.

Many carried Sudanese flags and some held photographs of those killed as they gathered in the downtown area, after marching through several parts of the city, an AFP correspondent reported.

“It is unacceptable that young people are being killed,” said protester Fatima Mohamed as behind her crowds chanted revolutionary slogans that have rocked the country for months.

“These schoolchildren were chanting only slogans. Why were they shot with bullets?”

“Those who committed these crimes must be brought to justice,” she said.

Tragedy struck the city on Monday when six people, including five secondary school pupils, were shot dead at a rally against a growing shortage of bread and fuel in the city. It was a sudden tripling of the price of bread in December that sparked the mushrooming protests that led to the toppling of longtime president Omar Al-Bashir by the army in April.

Al-Obeid, the capital of North Kordofan state some 350 km southwest of Khartoum, remained largely quiet during the long months of demonstrations.

For much of his three decades in power, Bashir was able to look to Al-Obeid for support but the city drew scant reward in terms of investment. Many of its roads remain unpaved and heavy rains this week left huge pools of water for want of drainage.

In the downtown area, many houses are built of cement. In poorer neighborhoods, mudbrick is still widespread.

“There has been no electricity in our house since this morning,” said Babikir Awad, sitting on a chair in front of his single-story home in the city center.

“We have been suffering for months, but the situation has escalated in the past two weeks.”

Frequent power cuts are the biggest complaint.

“The main problem is that there is no steady supply of electricity,” said bakery owner Mohamed Al-Hassan.

“Having your own generator means increasing your costs and in turn exposing yourself to losses.”

Residents are angry that the authorities have failed to resolve the bread shortage.

“The city has witnessed a complete deterioration in services,” said Shadiya Othman.

“This has led to anger.”

LIVE: Countries ease coronavirus regulations to reverse coronavirus pandemic impact on economies

Updated 11 min 46 sec ago

LIVE: Countries ease coronavirus regulations to reverse coronavirus pandemic impact on economies

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia announced it was easing the 24-hour lockdown brought into force during Eid – except in Makkah.
The initial timings will be from 3 p.m. until 6 a.m., but May 31, the curfew will run from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. The Kingdom plans to remove all curfews by June 21.
Meanwhile, Dubai will allow free movement and business activity to restart during the day from Wednesday. The new timing of the curfew will be from 11.00 p.m. to 6.00 a.m., the Dubai Media Office said in a press release.
May 26, 2020, Wednesday (All times in GMT)

05:56 – The WHO suspended trials of the drug that Donald Trump has promoted as a coronavirus defence, fuelling concerns about the US president's handling of the pandemic that has killed nearly 100,000 Americans.
04:52 – South American carrier Latam Airlines says it is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it grapples with the sharp downturn in air travel sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.
Santiago, Chile-based Latam Airlines Group S.A. said Tuesday that it and its affiliated companies launched the reorganization effort in the United States.
04:49 – Singapore’s embattled economy could shrink by as much as 7 percent this year, which would be the county’s worst reading since its independence, with the government saying Tuesday the coronavirus pandemic had throttled the key export sector.
The city-state is seen as a bellwether of the global economy and the historic contraction highlights the extreme pain being wrought on countries by the killer disease.
04:44 – Thailand on Tuesday reported three new coronavirus cases and no new deaths, bringing its total to 3,045 confirmed cases and 57 fatalities.