Crowds thronged the streets of Sudan’s capital Khartoum and other cities on Thursday in the first of several anti-military rallies planned this month, and security forces fired tear gas to disperse the protests, footage posted on social media showed.
Mobile phone and internet services were largely cut ahead of the demonstrations, as on previous protest days, and some bridges between Khartoum and its sister cities of Bahri and Omdurman were also closed.
Protesters had said they would try to reach Khartoum’s presidential palace as they try to keep up pressure on the military, which halted a power-sharing arrangement negotiated after the 2019 overthrow of Omar al-Bashir when it staged a coup last October.
“We will occupy the streets once more, heading for the tyrant’s palace, rejecting military rule, and adhering to peacefulness, our strongest weapon,” said a statement from resistance committees organising protests from Bahri.
Unverified videos and photos posted by activists and civilian groups on social media showed security forces firing heavy volleys of tear gas in the capital. They also showed rallies in other cities across Sudan.
Despite the military promising to allow peaceful protests, crackdowns on demonstrations since the coup have left at least 57 people dead and many more injured, according to medics aligned with the protest movement.
Calls and mobile internet services were disrupted from late morning, Reuters journalists and internet blockage observatory NetBlocks said.
The protests come four days after Abdalla Hamdok resigned as prime minister, throwing Sudan’s future deeper into uncertainty.
Hamdok became prime minister in 2019 and oversaw major economic reforms before being deposed in the coup and returning in a failed bid to salvage the power-sharing arrangement.