KHARTOUM: Thousands of protesters marching through Sudan’s capital Khartoum faced tear gas on Friday as they demonstrated against a nearly year-long military coup as part of efforts to reach a political settlement .
Sudan has slipped further into political and economic turmoil since the October 25, 2021 coup, but political parties said this week talks had begun, supported by international facilitators, to reach an agreement to form a new civilian government.
Many protesters marching on Friday rejected the settlement, however, carrying signs that read “No compromise” and chanting “No negotiation, no partnering with killers.”
At least 117 people were killed by security forces during anti-coup protests. Military leaders said investigations into the deaths were ongoing.
Security forces, heavily deployed in central Khartoum, were seen firing tear gas and pursuing protesters about 1 km from the airport.
The US Embassy in Khartoum warned of further violence, calling on security forces to “refrain from using violence against protesters” in a tweet on Thursday.
In addition to protests in Khartoum on Friday, hundreds of people also gathered in Wad Madani, town resident Adel Ahmed said.
Tear gas was also fired at protesters across the Nile in Omdurman, and one injured protester was seen being carried away.
Other protests took place in the nearby town of Bahri, as well as across the country in Nyala, Atbara and Gadaref, among other towns.
At least 117 people have been killed by security forces during anti-coup protests in Sudan.
The protests, falling on the anniversary of a 1964 uprising, were called by neighborhood resistance committees who rejected talks with the military, as well as political parties currently engaged in talks.
Protesters of all ages could be seen marching down the airport road in the capital, carrying loudspeakers and hanging posters.
Others burned tires to block roads.
“This revolution will continue, we refuse any compromise,” said Jamal Salah, a 36-year-old protester.
Also on Friday, the governor of Blue Nile state in southern Sudan declared a state of emergency, giving security forces full powers to end ethnic fighting that has left 150 people dead.
“A state of emergency is declared in the entire Blue Nile state for 30 days,” said the provincial decree of the state bordering South Sudan and Ethiopia.
He called on the commanders of the police, army, intelligence services and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces “to intervene by all possible means to stop the inter-tribal fighting”.
Clashes in the Blue Nile erupted last week after reported land disputes between members of the Hausa people and rival groups, with residents reporting hundreds of people fleeing intense gunfire and burned homes.
The fighting was concentrated around the Wad Al-Mahi area near Roseires, some 500 km south of Khartoum.
“A total of 150 people, including women, children and the elderly, were killed between Wednesday and Thursday,” Wad Al-Mahi hospital director Abbas Moussa said.
“Around 86 people were also injured in the violence.”
Authorities had imposed a nightly curfew on Monday after 13 people died in clashes between Hausa and rival groups, according to the UN, but violence then resumed.
On Thursday, several hundred people demonstrated in the Blue Nile capital, Damazin, shouting “No to violence”.