Sudan protesters return to streets to demand more reforms

Tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in Sudanese cities despite a coronavirus lockdown to demand greater civilian rule in the transition towards democracy after the removal of longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir last year.

Waving Sudanese flags, demonstrators on Tuesday gathered in Khartoum and its twin cities Khartoum North and Omdurman after the government closed roads and bridges leading to the centre of the capital.

Police used tear gas to disperse protesters marching on a road leading to the airport in the capital, Khartoum. There were no immediate reports of causalities.

Similar protests also took place in Kassala in eastern Sudan and in the restive region of Darfur. They chanted “freedom, peace and justice”, the slogan of the anti-al-Bashir movement.

Some protesters blocked streets with burning tyres.

The “million-man march” was called by the Sudanese Professionals’ Association, and the so-called Resistance Committees, which were instrumental in the protests against al-Bashir and the generals who took over power for months after his removal.

An opposition coalition agreed to joint governance with the military in a two-year transition towards free elections but key parts of the deal have not been implemented, such as appointing civilian state governors and establishing a Parliament.