Sudan protesters face tear gas in capital as clash toll climbs in south

Police have fired tear gas in Sudan’s capital Khartoum against hundreds of anti-coup protesters who also called attention to increasingly deadly tribal clashes in the country’s south.

Demonstrators in Khartoum and the cities of Bahri and Omdurman waved banners demanding civilian rule amid chants against the military on Sunday.

Protesters erected barricades and burned tires on main roads, while Sudanese security forces used stun grenades and teargas canisters to disperse demonstrators.

Sunday’s rallies were called by the so-called Resistance Committee, which spearhead the current wave of demonstrations against the military since last year.

Sudan has been in turmoil since last October when the military dismissed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s transitional government, a move decried by political forces as a “military coup.”

More than 100 people have been killed in protests against the military rule since October, according to local medics.

Post-coup security vacuum

Experts say last year’s coup created a security vacuum that has fostered a resurgence in tribal violence, in a country where deadly clashes regularly erupt over land, livestock, access to water and grazing.

“Al-Damazin is bleeding,” one Khartoum protester’s placard read on Sunday, referring to the provincial capital of Blue Nile, the latest crucible of tribal clashes.

The recent clashes in Blue Nile state, between the Berti and Hawsa tribes, first erupted last Monday and authorities have now raised the death toll to 60 on Sunday, up from 33 the previous day.

The violence came after the Berti tribe rejected a Hawsa request to create a “civil authority to supervise access to land”, a prominent Hawsa member said on condition of anonymity.

But a senior member of the Bertis had said the tribe was responding to a “violation” of its lands by the Hawsas.

The revised death toll of 60 was provided by Blue Nile health minister Jamal Nasser, who also said that 163 people have been wounded.

In the city of Wad Madani protesters diverted their demonstration on Monday to the local hospital to “donate blood to our brothers wounded in tribal clashes in Blue Nile,” protest organiser Ammar Mohamed said.



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