’50 killed’ in Sudan protests

Sudanese police killed at least 50 people this week, often "shooting to kill", when they moved to quell angry protests over the government's cut of fuel subsidies, two rights groups said. Hundreds of Sudanese activists, protesters,

Sudanese police killed at least 50 people this week, often “shooting to kill”, when they moved to quell angry protests over the government’s cut of fuel subsidies, two rights groups said.

Hundreds of Sudanese activists, protesters, students and members of opposition parties have also been arrested amid the violence, according to a joint statement by the two groups – Amnesty International and the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS).

Anti-government protests first erupted in the town of Wad Madani south of Sudan’s capital, then spread to Khartoum and seven other cities in the country’s east following president Omar al-Bashir’s announcement last Sunday of new austerity measures, including the lifting of subsidies – a move that instantly almost doubled prices on fuel products.

A gallon (3.8 litres) of diesel sprang from eight Sudanese pounds (£1.13) to 14 pounds (£1.97). A gallon of petrol that was 12 pounds rose to 21, while a canister of cooking gas that was 14 pounds is now 25.

Mr al-Bashir – an autocrat who has ruled for nearly 24 years after taking over power in a military coup – justified the new measures, saying they would rescue the country from “collapse”.

Sudan lost most of its main oil-producing territory when South Sudan broke off and became an independent state in 2011. The two countries are now embroiled in a standoff over an oil-rich region claimed by both and the northern state’s threat to halt a key oil transportation route from the southern state.

Mr al-Bashir’s announcement set off riots, with angry protesters torching police and petrol stations, as well as setting fire to government buildings. Hundreds of students, meanwhile, marched in the streets, chanting anti-government slogans and calling for Mr al-Bashir’s removal.

The violence gripped the nation for three days and on Thursday, authorities deployed army troops around vital installations and petrol stations in Khartoum.

Residents prepared for more potential violence and protests expected on Friday, particularly after worshippers flood out of mosques following the weekly Islamic prayer.

Sudanese police said a total of 29 people, including policemen, were killed during the week’s riots and that hundreds were arrested after police stormed “hideouts of gangs and rioters”. The police statement was carried by the official SUNA news agency late on Thursday.

The two right groups, Amnesty and ACJPS, said they documented 50 deaths in two days of rioting, Tuesday and Wednesday. Most of those killed were aged between 19 and 26, the groups said.

ACJPS cited one witness as saying that he saw two bodies with gunshot wounds to the back, “suggesting that the deceased had been shot whilst running away”.

“Shooting to kill – including by aiming at protesters’ chests and heads – is a blatant violation of the right to life, and Sudan must immediately end this violent repression,” said Amnesty’s deputy chief for Africa, Lucy Freeman.

A precise death toll from the violence was almost impossible to obtain, partly due to a media blackout that prevented journalists from obtaining records and a 24-hour internet outage on Wednesday.

It was unclear whether the outage was government-orchestrated and linked to the rioting but the cut recalled a similarly dramatic outage in Egypt, Sudan’s neighbour, when authorities shut off internet access during that country’s 2011 uprising.

Youth activists and doctors at a Khartoum hospital told the Associated Press that at least 100 people had died in the protests since Monday.

Sayyed Qanata, a physician at the main hospital in Khartoum’s flashpoint Omdurman district, a longtime opposition stronghold, said his hospital recorded 113 deaths in Khartoum alone. Those include the 38 bodies he himself counted, Mr Qanata said.

Amgad Farid, a spokesman for the Change Now youth movement, said the organisation compiled a list of 81 protesters killed on Wednesday alone in Khartoum.

A protest group, Girifna, which is Arabic for “Fed Up”, also put the number of dead at 100 in a posting on its website.

Amnesty and ACJPS said chief editors of several Khartoum newspapers were summoned by authorities and instructed to only publish police statements on the violence. One paper, Al-Sudani, was banned on Thursday, reportedly for its anti-government stance.

AP

Aljazeera: Police fire on funeral in Sudan amid unrest

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25 COMMENTS
  • Paradiso September 29, 2013

    Finally, after preaching the “Arabness” of Eritrea for thirty years, until last year. Semere Habtemariam has seen a little of the light at the end of the tunnel. What a change! This is what YG, Gabriel Gangul, Zekre Libona has been writing and saying for 12 years.

    Semere Habetemariam, who had acted before as a “useful idiot” but a bit wiser now, wrote:
    “As an Eritrean who is very proud of his Habesha, Hamasenay, and Tewahdo heritage, I’m incapable of not loving myself; and therefore I love the Tigrayans. To reiterate what I’ve always said: if I want to understand a Tigrayan, all I need to do is look at myself in the mirror. I love, respect, and cherish my three thousand years of Habesha history, its legends, myth, fables, and folktales and I refuse to apologize for it. I am a Habesha whose home is Eritrea and that identity is as sacrosanct as it can be.”

    He seems to be tired of ELF’s fabricated Arabized “history” and the way Arabs treated his sisters and brothers in the Arab world: the life of sexual slavery and organ harvest.

    Semere wrote, “No Eritrean has gone to Ethiopia to conquer or subjugate Ethiopians or deprive them of their linguistic and cultural heritage.” Semere adds, “It is the politics of the Amharic language that Eritreans revolted and fought against and for that no self-respecting Eritrean will ever apologize.”
    What about Jabha eradicating its own Eritrean languages by fire in its scorched earth policy against any Eritrean language to promote Arabic language? Which is worse crime?
    Semere, did your Ghedli liberate Eritreans by burning Eritrean languages?

    Semere writes, “But, I’ve to say this: acknowledgement of suffering at the hands of Amhara, the Amhara monarchy or the regime, would greatly expedite the journey of reconciliation. ”
    This is wrong. The Amhara are themselves victims of their own governments as the Saudis are of their own monarchy or as Egypt was a victim of the dictatorial rule of Mubarek and Gamal Nasser. Semere, you were only brain washed by the Arabized Jebha to blame the poor ethnic Amharas who were poorer and more deprived than the average Eritrean.

    Ato Semere, not bad you are showing some signs of normality. Though you have long way to go, your one foot is in the right track and YG will be proud of you. Pride in Habesha precedes the artificial Eritrea that was created by Italians. No Arab or Italian should rob your true habesha and African identity. If my Habesha identity is eradicated, how can I be a worthy Eritrean, except an Arab slave, not unlike the arab wanabes you lived with in Khartoum and Port Sudan. You have tried to be an Arab for years, and look how an Arab treats you: just like another Abeed.

  • Truly Truly i say to you September 30, 2013

    People with the Mahber Andnet agenda( who like to reunite Eritrea with Ethiopia again) are on marching and they seem like to invade the real Eritrean website Assenna to turn it to Ethiopian website; like they invaded Asmarino and atlast they turned it to be the Ethiopian website. This is really very disturbing! I don´t know how much they go marching to achieve their goal, but everyone knows the chief architect who ruined Asamarino com to which was at the begging started with the real Eritrean spirit and sentiment finally who messed is ,Yoseif Gebrehiwot.
    But i have one confident and hope. Like the bible says; (in Galatia 3; 3)” how can you be so foolish! you began by God´s Spirit; do you now want to finish by your own power or flesh?” like says;
    our real Eritrean Website Assenna by never ever means will go to finish or turn like Asmarino com finally ended by flesh. ( means sold its soul for money, or to fulfill the hiding mission. will continue…

    • COW FACE October 1, 2013

      Truly Truly ,

      I am sure your issue has to do with weyane nationalising your property in 2000, well ,maybe you did not hear but ,weyane are giving back what was nationalized at the time ,with apology ,go get your N3 trailer & cake house from weyane ,your´s offends me more ,because YOU USE THE WORD OF GOD THAT STATES ¨LOVE YOUR ENEMY & PRAY FOR THOSE THAT PERSECUTE YOU¨.
      Supposedly Mahber Andnet do not trush the country that fed them..you grew up with Ethiopian Kitfo & love ,..NEVER MIND MY ADVICE YOU ARE REALLY ERITREAN ,A PERSON THAT BITES THAT FEEDS HIM.
      PLEASE I SPEW POISON ,BUT I KNOW ,I AM NOT USING GODS NAME TO JUSTIFY MY FILTHY MOUTH.LEAVE GOD ALONE, WHAT YOU HAVE INSIDE IS THE DEVIL .

      AS A TRADITIONAL CHRISATIAN ,WQHO DOES NOT GO TO FIND EVCANGELICAL WOMEN TO TELL THEM GOD WANTS ME TO MARRY /**** YOU I GET OFFENDED.
      BUT I ADMIT IT IS YOUR RIGHT ,YOU CAN NOT BE MAHBER ANDNETS TOILET PAPER ,….

      your brother ,that finds you fake & hateful

      Cow face aka fake f*/*d up country collapsing

  • Truly Truly i say to you September 30, 2013

    By the way Isayas and his courts including those socalled intellectuals his propagandists; by causing fight, exterminating the Eritrean people and by destroying the Eritrean economy social and culture to that they couldn´t achieve to reverse the independence and and reunite Eritrea; now is with very sophisticated other peaceful like method , what they working are, and have planned is gradually by giving hard to inforce our people, so that to chose confederation or federation with Ethiopia it is, like they did it during HaileSelasie time. So Eritreans be aware! and watch out in whatever angel language they trying to approach you. They all are deceivers who betrayed and despised our Tegadelities for the motive they sacrificed for.

    • Tamrat Tamrat September 30, 2013

      I dont think you are folloing eritrean politics outside of the Virtual world. In the real world it is determined that eri-afar ethnic group shall be United With its Afar state and the tigrinya has given a thinking time while kunama United With ehtiiopian kunama. The federa state of ethiopia has had many oppostion becuase of unfaire wealth distribution but that doesnt mean we dont care about Our Brothers in Eritrea. But the elf part shall be left alone, they are pain in the neck for the Whole horn of africa. The tigrinya People are part of Our history but they must renaunce isayas the way we did against mengistu. isayas and mengistu are courrupt communsits.

  • COW FACE October 1, 2013

    Poor Sudanese PEOPLE,

    I guess they did not follow Papa Isaias´s interview that ¨PEOPLE GO TO WHERE THE FUEL IS NOT VICE VERSA¨…PRESIDENT ALI BASHAR SHOULD TAKE A LESSON FROM PAPA ISAIAS ,
    BUT THEN SUDANESE PEOPLE ARE NOT GULLIBLE IDIOTS ,THEY WOULD REVOLT IF THEY HEARD SUCH CRAP.

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