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Sudan: Government Investigates Death of 19 Protesters, Journalists on Strike

Sudan: Government Investigates Death of 19 Protesters, Journalists on Strike

Friday, 28 December, 2018 - 09:45
Sudanese men shout slogans during a protest against Israel's military operation in the Gaza Strip in the capital Khartoum. (File Photo: AFP/EBRAHIM HAMID)

The Sudanese government announced that an investigation into the deaths of 19 people and the injury of 406 others had been launched, while Sudanese journalists, doctors and pharmacists went on strikes and announced their participation in the popular protests that have swept the country for nine days.

Nineteen people have been killed in the demonstrations, including two members of Sudan's security forces, while 406 others have been wounded, government spokesman, Minister of Information, Boshara Juma said on state television.

Juma accused foreign and local parties of employing the peaceful protests for political goals. He indicated that charges were filed against the head of the Sudan-Darfur Liberation Movement, Abdel Wahid Mohamed Nur, and the authorities would request his extradition through Interpol.

Amnesty International announced it documented 37 deaths in the first five days of Sudan's protests, shot by government forces.

The spokesman described the marches as "peaceful", saying that the police protected the demonstrators, noting that most were killed during “incidents of lootings” and nobody has been killed in the capital Khartoum.

Minister Juma pledged to reopen universities and schools once the situation in the country has stabilized, announcing that the bread, money and fuel crisis would be resolved by mid-next month.

Meanwhile, the security authorities arrested a number of journalists on strike in solidarity with the protests and held them for about an hour before releasing them.

One of the detained journalists said that men in civilian clothes assaulted some of them before taking them to a security headquarters. The officers later on apologized and justified the arrest as a result of "field assessments."

Dozens of journalists took part in a three-day strike in solidarity with popular protests and in coordination with the Sudanese Professional Association.

Sudanese Journalists' Network, an independent and parallel trade union organization of the state’s Journalists Union, announced a three-day strike

“We declare a three day strike from December 27 to protest against the violence unleashed by the government against demonstrators,” said the Network.

Sudanese Professional Association issued a statement calling citizens to keep on protesting and urged fellow professionals to engage in strikes.

In another development, northern province’s health minister Abderraouf Grnas resigned, announcing his solidarity with the popular protests in the country.

Grnas resigned in solidarity with what he called the "tide of popular demands for political and economic reform."

The minister’s resignation is considered the party’s leadership declaration of breaking it partnership with the ruling National Congress Party, and a terminal exit from the current government.

Asharq Al-Awsat obtained a copy of Grnas’ resignation letter in which he said the Congress Party did not fulfill its pledges which initially prompted his party to participate in the government formed based on the outcomes of the national dialogue.

The minister denounced what he called unpromising solutions to economic problems, and the monopoly of opinion without regarding different views from other parties in the government, especially in the management of the economy, and resolve the crisis.

The minister explained that his position is consistent with the position of his party, which calls for the establishment of a new system, which was stated by party leader Mubarak al-Fadil al-Mahdi, in a message published in the social media.

Mahdi said that his party withdrew its only representative in the executive authority, indicating that the Minister resigned following a party decision.

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