Sudan coup casualties mount as nationwide protests persist


The number of Sudanese protesters shot dead in clashes with the military following Monday’s coup rose to seven, doctors said, as nationwide strikes and civil disobedience took hold and the whereabouts of the prime minister remained unknown.

More than 140 were wounded, according to two doctors working for the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors, a group that backs the pro-democracy movement. The clashes erupted after Sudan’s military arrested the prime minister and members of his cabinet on Monday, threatening to derail the country’s path to democracy after decades of dictatorship.

Sudan has worked to end its international isolation since long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir was overthrown amid mass demonstrations in 2019, moving to normalize ties with Israel and repairing relations with the US, which rescinded its three-decade listing of the country as a sponsor of terrorism. Sudan also managed to secure International Monetary Fund support and a pledge by the Paris Club of creditors to restructure $23.5 billion of its debt.

Monday’s events put international aid at risk. Hours after the coup, the US put a $700 million emergency assistance package on hold.

The army figure who headed Sudan’s sovereign council, a transitional military-civilian power-sharing administration, said that body would be dissolved. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan declared a nationwide state of emergency while vowing to hold free elections as planned in 2023.

Putsch leaders scaled back Internet service dramatically, so it was impossible to gauge the scope of the protests, but demonstrators reported that widespread clashes continued deep into the night and early Tuesday.

Residents barricaded roads and retreated to their neighborhoods after members of the military opened fire Monday on demonstrators who’d gathered outside army headquarters in the capital, Khartoum.

“They want to scare us and in the night electricity has been cut and gunfire heard for a long time,” said Iman Ahmed, a protester in Burri in northern Khartoum.

She had been at the military headquarters during the day and said she saw dozens of wounded people after the military opened fire on protesters during the afternoon. Bloomberg News

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