Demonstrations have been taking place in different regions of Sudan over the last month, including the capital Khartoum, calling on Omar al Bashir to resign as the country’s president.
The deadliest of the protests took place on Monday 31st December, as Sudanese security forces fired tear gas and bullets at demonstrators in Khartoum, who marched towards the President’s palace. Schools and universities across Sudan have been shut and state of emergency has been declared in some regions.
While the Sudanese Government has set the death toll at 19, Amnesty International has said that the crackdown on protesters has led to the death of 37 people and hundreds have been left wounded.
In response to the deaths of protestors, Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes said, “these killings must stop. Opening fire on unarmed protesters cannot be justified and what is clearly needed now is an independent, efficient investigation into these events.”
Bashir continues to defy calls for his resignation despite the withdrawal of two parties from the governing coalition and continuing protests. Instead, Bashir has promised to push through economic reforms to alleviate economic hardship.
Protests across Sudan were provoked by a rise in commodity prices and fuel shortages but soon turned into anti-government demonstrations, with protesters demanding Bashir’s resignation. Sudan is currently facing an economic crisis where inflation is running close to 70 per cent and the value of the Sudanese pound has plummeted.
Bashir is also currently wanted by the International Criminal Court for the crime of genocide. Though he was indicted in 2010, he has evaded arrest by any authorities.