Sudan dismissed officer protest turns violent


Sudanese security forces used teargas and batons to disperse protesters demanding reinstatement of army officers dismissed for refusing to crack down on demonstrations against former president Omar al-Bashir, witnesses said.

The clashes were the worst since the country’s military council and a coalition of opposition parties agreed on a power-sharing deal last August, protesters said.

At least 17 people were wounded in the clashes, a doctors’ committee linked to the opposition said in a statement.

Many wounded were hit by teargas canisters, the committee said, while witnesses said they saw others chased by security forces who beat them with batons.

The doctor’s committee said one injured suffered a gunshot wound and another had a rubber bullet wound. There were no other immediate reports of shots fired.

The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which called the protest and was a key member of the opposition coalition that struck the deal with the military, called for the minister of the interior and the police general director to be sacked.

It urged Prime Minister Abdulla Hamdok to “immediately dismiss the interior minister, the police general director and the head of police in Khartoum and replace them with national elements who belong to the revolution.”

The SPA said in a statement all soldiers and military officers “arbitrarily excluded from military service” should be reinstated.

The military removed Bashir and arrested him last April after months of demonstrations, bringing an end to 30 years of autocratic rule.

Dozens of protesters were killed during crackdowns on demonstrations and more died last June when security forces cleared a sit-in where protesters pushed for further reforms.

Among those dismissed last week were young army officers who refused to participate in the crackdown on demonstrations in front of the defence ministry calling for the removal of Bashir.

“Whoever protected and sided with the people’s revolution deserves to be celebrated, promoted and given a leadership position,” the SPA said in its statement.