Sudan police fire tear gas at protesters in Khartoum

Sudan police fire tear gas at protesters in Khartoum

Authorities say at least 24 people have died in the protests, while rights group Human Rights Watch has put the death toll at 40, including children and medical staff.

"Right now, some of the opposition groups and trade unions are trying to mobilize more protests, and probably they are thinking of how to escalate", said Matt Ward, senior Africa analyst at Oxford Analytica, according to AFP.

The demonstration was the first of its kind in Darfur since the unrest began.

On Dec. 31 a year ago, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir issued a decree to form a fact-finding committee to investigate the recent protests in Sudan.

Sudanese police fired tear gas today at crowds of anti-government protesters in Khartoum after organisers called for nationwide rallies against President Omar al-Bashir.

Security forces chased the demonstrators into side streets but there were no immediate reports of casualties, the witnesses said.

Sudan's political crisis shows no sign of easing as anti-government protests enter their fourth week, with activists calling for further marches despite a violent crackdown on demonstrations.

In previous weeks, demonstrations have begun only after sundown and the number of people at this Friday's protests appeared smaller than in the past.

At least 22 people have been killed and hundreds wounded in the protests, which were sparked by anger over rising food prices and cash shortages but quickly turned against Bashir's government.

Repeated shortages of food and fuel have been reported in several cities, including Khartoum, while the costs of foods and medicines have more than doubled.

Since the secession of South Sudan in 2011, Khartoum lost three quarters of its oil revenue, crippling an economy already wracked by 20 years of U.S. sanctions.

The US lifted economic sanctions against Khartoum in September 2017; the United Kingdom had pledged to help Sudan write off a $53.35-billion debt, provided that Khartoum promoted dialogue and instituted democratic reforms that ensured political freedoms.

But critics of Bashir say his government's mismanagement of key sectors and its huge spending on fighting ethnic minority rebellions in Darfur and areas near the South Sudan border have been stoking economic trouble for years.

The crackdown has drawn global criticism, with countries like Britain, Norway, Canada and the United States warning Khartoum that its actions could "have an impact" on its relations with their governments.

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