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Protests in Sudan mark uprising anniversary

Police fire tear gas at demonstrators calling for ouster of military chief

Tens of thousands of Sudanese protesters rallied on Sunday to mark three years since the start of mass demonstrations that led to the ouster of strongman Omar al-Bashir, as fears mount for the democratic transition.

Security forces fired tear gas at protesters in the capital Khartoum, chanting slogans against the current military chief, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who led a coup on October 25.

“The people want the downfall of Burhan”, protesters shouted.

The generals had initially detained civilian leader Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok for weeks under effective house arrest, but reinstated him on November 21.

Mr. Hamdok, who has argued he wants to avoid bloodshed, warned late Saturday of “the country’s slide toward the abyss,” urging restraint from the protesters. Protest organisers have however vowed, in a key slogan, “No negotiation, no partnership and no legitimacy”.

December 19 has a particular resonance in Sudanese history. Not only was it the day in 2018 when thousands launched mass protests that ended Bashir’s three decades in power, it was also the day in 1955 when Sudanese lawmakers declared independence from British colonial rule.

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