SUDAN UPDATE –

SUDAN UPDATE –

Following a week of protests that rocked Khartoum and other major cities, the Government of Sudan continues to brutally clamp down on protestors using excessive force. Below is a brief of the key highlights of the current situation over the past two days, followed by a short recap of releases from some credible sources.

• On Monday, 30 September, protests were reported at Ahfad University for Women and other neighborhoods in Omdurman (several reported injuries), in front of the Sudan Medical Council in Khartoum as well as in other cities include Atbara and Port Sudan. Yesterday, several protests were reported during the night, with the largest taking place in Burri, after the memorial service for a pharmacist that was killed last week.
• In a press conference this afternoon (14:30 local time), the minister of interior and governor of Khartoum state both denied the culpability of security forces in the killing of protestors, and blamed the deaths on “rogue elements.” Also, interior minister claimed that the photos of those killed being circulated online were taken from archival footage from Egypt and were not of Sudanese protestors. The government claims over 600 people are under arrest. However, the number is likely much larger.
• A group calling itself the Sudan Change Forces was formed on Saturday (28 September), comprised of Coalition of Sudanese Revolution Youths (CSRY), National Consensus Forces (NCF), Professional Unions (Medical Doctors Union, Dentists’ Union, Teachers’ Committee, the University of Khartoum Staff Union, the Democratic Coalition of Lawyers), and the Coalition of Civil Society Organizations. The group demanded the government immediately step down and for the formation of a coalition caretaker government to take its place.
• The leader of one of the independent doctors’ groups claimed that more than 210 protestors have been killed (Arabic) so far, with most injuries being targeted to the head and chest.
• Both the Umma and Popular Congress parties called on their members to join the protests on the streets, and Democratic Unionist Party members called for the withdrawal of their participation from the government.
• The NCP reacted rapidly by condemning a memo (Arabic) reportedly released by “reformist” factions within the ruling party, lead by Ghazi Salahuddin Atabani, calling for the reinstatement of subsidies.
• The Ministry of Education extended the closure of all public schools (Arabic) until late October, a move aimed at keeping the streets empty.
• The Sudanese pound continued to lose its value (Arabic), which was being traded for approximately 8.3 – 8.5 pounds against the US dollar, as compared to ~7.4 the week prior to the protests.

Important Press Releases:

Confederation of Sudanese Civil Society Organisations Statement:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/co6pr7l6fx9nxxe/Press%20Statement_26%20September_2013.pdf

The Confederation of Sudanese Civil Society Organisations whilst strongly rejecting these latest economic measures and lending its unwavering support to the protestors who are likewise expressing their right to voice their opinion on the matter, appeals to the protestors to respect the boundaries of freedom/rights of assembly/protest and to exercise discipline, public order and regard for the rights of others… We call upon the ruling party and its various organs to review its current governance practices which has violated basic rights and freedoms, impoverished the population and undermined the country’s security and territorial integrity.

African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies and Amnesty International:
Security forces fatally shoot dozens of protesters as demonstrations grow
(http://www.acjps.org/?p=1635)

The Sudanese security forces must immediately stop using arbitrary and unlawful force against protesters, the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies and Amnesty International urged today, after confirming that at least 50 demonstrators were killed on Tuesday and Wednesday after being shot in the chest or head. Local sources and activists have put the figure much higher, in excess of 100. “Shooting to kill – including by aiming at protesters’ chests and heads – is a blatant violation of the right to life, and Sudan must immediately end this violent repression by its security forces,” said Lucy Freeman, Africa Deputy Director at Amnesty International.

Human Rights Watch: Sudan:
Dozens Killed During Protests
(http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/09/27/sudan-dozens-killed-during-protests)

“Repression is not the answer to Sudan’s political and economic problems,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Sudan’s authorities need to rein in the security forces and make it clear that using excessive force is not allowed.” … Witnesses in Khartoum and Omdurman told Human Rights Watch that they saw police and national security forces fire shots at protesters. Sudanese activists have alleged that pro-government militias are also responsible for some killings. Sudanese officials have denied unlawful killings… The Sudanese government’s investigation should be comprehensive and include all the reported killings and excessive use of force across the country, Human Rights Watch said.

Reporters without Borders:
All-Out Censorship in Response to Anti-Government Protests
(http://en.rsf.org/sudan-all-out-censorship-in-response-to-30-09-2013,45248.html)
“The measures taken by the government, including disconnecting the Internet, seizing newspapers and harassing journalists, show the extremes to which it is ready to go to hold on to power,” Reporters Without Borders said. “This censorship is both totally unacceptable and pointless, given that the protests are continuing… Journalists have been subject to suspensions, summonses for questioning and arbitrary arrest since the start of the unrest. Ameer Hassan, Al-Hurra’s correspondent in Wad Madani was detained. Sky News reporter Tarig Altigani and Al-Masa TV reporter Solafa Abu Dafira were summoned by the security services and an Al-Jareeda journalist was suspended.

Useful sources:
• Twitter hash tags: #SudanRevolts; #Abena; #أبينا
• Sudan’s Revolution News in English (Facebook):
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sudans-Revolution-News-in-English/510498889028523
• Protest Crowd Map: https://abena.crowdmap.com/page/index/1

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