Sudan Protests Death Toll Reaches 24, Panel Says

Death toll from protests rises to 24

At least 24 people have been killed in Sudan since protests began on December 19 over the country's deteriorating economy, the country's public officer said on Saturday.

Protesters chanting "peaceful, peaceful against the thieves" have been met with live bullets fired by security forces.

The statement on Friday marks the first acknowledgement by a Sudanese state agency that live ammunition has been used since anti-government protests erupted last month.

On Sunday, protest organisers called for demonstrations in Khartoum and other towns, including Madani, Kosti and Dongola, as part of what they have called a "Week of Uprising".

Anti-government demonstrations first erupted on December 19 in towns and villages before later spreading to Khartoum.

The Sudanese Professionals Association, which has been organising protests, called for a march in the capital Khartoum on Sunday after police fired tear gas to disperse protesters in Khartoum and its twin city Omdurman after midday prayers on Friday.

At least 22 people have been killed during the protests, including two security personnel, according to the authorities.

Security forces chased the demonstrators into side streets but there were no immediate reports of casualties, the witnesses said.


Rights groups have put the overall death toll much higher, with Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International saying that at least 40 people have been killed in clashes during the demonstrations, including children and medical staff.

A total of 131 people were also injured during the protests, he added.

Darfur has remained largely calm since a year ago, with no anti-government demonstration held so far even as protesters staged hundreds of rallies in other cities that have been swiftly broken up by riot police.

Although the unrest was triggered by the rise in the price of bread, Sudan has faced a mounting economic crisis over the past year, led by an acute shortage of foreign currency.

Bashir has blamed the violence during the protests on "conspirators" without naming them.

Since the secession of South Sudan in 2011, Khartoum lost three quarters of its oil revenue, crippling an economy already wracked by 20 years of United States sanctions.

The US imposed a trade embargo on Khartoum in 1997 that was lifted only in October 2017.

The Troika - the US, UK and Norway - has warned that if Sudan does not release political detainees and rights activists arrested during the protests, it would impact their future relations with Khartoum.

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