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Sudanese Celebrate Uprising Anniversary

Sudanese Celebrate Uprising Anniversary

Thursday, 19 December, 2019 - 18:45
Sudanese demonstrators wait to board a train to the town of Atbara, at a train station in Khartoum, Sudan, 19 December 2019, to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the December 2018 Revolution. EPA/MARWAN ALI

Hundreds of thousands of people marched across Sudan on Thursday to celebrate the first anniversary of the uprising that toppled long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir and demand justice for slain protesters.

Waving national flags and chanting slogans, marchers vowed to press on with the political transition that stemmed from the protests that began on Dec. 19 last year in the city of Atbara, and led to the military deposing Bashir on April 11.

"Revolutionaries, revolutionaries! We will complete the journey!" thousands chanted in Freedom Square, which protesters took over in the capital Khartoum in July and where Bashir held a big rally in his last months in power.

Others chanted: "Our martyrs have not died, they live with the revolutionaries!"

Repeating a rallying cry for justice for those killed when security forces opened fire to end a sit-in this year near the Defense Ministry headquarters and Bashir's residence, they shouted: "Blood for blood, we won't accept blood money!"

A Sudanese court on Saturday convicted Bashir on corruption charges and sentenced him to two years of detention in a reform facility, the first ruling against the former president.

Some protesters waved posters of Abdalla Hamdok, Sudan's civilian prime minister who heads a technocratic government.

"Hamdok represents me," the signs said.

But the authorities now governing under a three-year power-sharing agreement between the military and former opposition and protest groups are under pressure to do more to address economic and political problems, restore the rule of law and protect human rights.

"On the first anniversary of the revolution, we reaffirm the continuation of covenant with the Sudanese people, and we will not deviate from the demand for freedom, peace and justice," the Sudanese Professionals Association, which was the main protest group during the uprising, said on Twitter.

According to doctors linked to the protest movement, more than 250 people were killed in violence related to the demonstrations against Bashir and the military rulers who initially replaced him.

Amnesty International, which says at least 177 people were killed, on Thursday called on Sudan's transitional authorities to honor their commitments to restore the rule of law and protect human rights.

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