4 dead in Sudan a week after bloody crackdown

One week after dozens died in a crackdown on Sudanese protesters demanding civilian rule, four people were killed as security forces moved to quell a civil disobedience campaign launched Sunday, reports BSS. The deaths marked almost two months since the April 11 ouster of longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir, as talks broke down between protest leaders and military rulers over who should lead a new governing body — a civilian or soldier.

Protesters set about building roadblocks in Khartoum, while markets and shops were closed in other towns and cities. A doctors’ committee linked to the demonstrators said two people had been killed in clashes in the capital, while two others died in its twin city of Omdurman, just across the Nile.

The Central Committee for Sudanese Doctors blamed forces supporting the ruling military council for the deaths, which it said took the overall toll to 118 since a June 3 crackdown to disperse a sit-in by protesters outside army headquarters. The health ministry says 61 people died nationwide in Monday’s crackdown, 49 of them from ‘live ammunition’ in Khartoum.

In the capital’s northern Bahari district, people gathered tyres, tree trunks and rocks to build new roadblocks as the campaign began early on Sunday. But riot police swiftly moved in, firing gunshots in the air and tear gas at demonstrators before clearing the makeshift barriers, a witness said.

‘They opened the way, we closed it again, they opened it, we re-closed it. It was a game of cat and mouse,’ said one protester, a 20-year-old mechanical engineering student.  The Sudanese Professionals Association, which first launched protests against Bashir in December, said the campaign would continue until military rulers transfer power to a civilian government.