Thousands of people have taken part in protests against last month’s coup in Sudan, with security forces shooting dead at least 10 people and wounding dozens of others, medics said.
Protesters marched in neighbourhoods across the capital, Khartoum, and its twin cities of Bahri and Omdurman on Wednesday as security forces fired live bullets and tear gas after mobile phone communications were cut earlier in the day.
The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors (CCSD), an independent union of medics, said 10 people were killed by security forces.
“The coup forces used live bullets heavily in different areas of the capital and there are tens of gunshot injuries, some of them in serious condition,” it said in a statement.
It said two of the deaths were in Khartoum, seven were in Bahri and one was in Omdurman.
There was no immediate comment from security forces.
Demands for civilian rule
The demonstrators took to the streets in defiance of a deadly crackdown by security forces that has killed dozens of people since the military seized power last month. The protesters are demanding a full handover to civilian rule and for the coup leaders to be tried in court.
Sudan’s top general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan declared a state of emergency on October 25, dissolved the government and detained the civilian leadership.
Last week, al-Burhan appointed a new governing Sovereign Council, replacing the country’s transitional government, which comprised of civilian and military figures.
It was formed in 2019 as part of a power-sharing agreement between members of the army and civilians with the task of overseeing Sudan’s transition to democracy after a popular uprising led to the removal of longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir.
Some protesters on Wednesday carried pictures of people killed in previous protests and of Abdalla Hamdok, the civilian prime minister who was placed under house arrest during the coup, with the slogan: “Legitimacy comes from the street, not from the cannons.”
Images of protests in towns and cities including Port Sudan, Kassala, Dongola, Wad Madani and Geneina were posted on social media.
Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan, reporting from Khartoum, said some protesters were demanding that the army not take up any role in politics.
“Many of them are still demanding a return to civilian rule,” she said, speaking from Khartoum. “They say they want to return to a democratic process that was under way before the army took over in late October.”
The renewed protests came as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Africans to watch out for rising threats to democracy as he began a three-nation tour of the continent in Kenya.
“We have seen over the last decade or so what some call a democratic recession,” Blinken said in Nairobi.
The United States has suspended some $700m in assistance to Sudan in response to the coup.
The death toll from Sudan’s anti-coup protests at the weekend rose to eight, medics said, bringing the total number of those killed since last month’s military takeover to at least 24.
Three teenagers were among those who lost their lives during the latest mass protests on Saturday, which were met with the deadliest crackdown since the October 25 coup.
The CCSD named all eight protesters killed, including 13-year-old Remaaz Hatim al-Atta, who was shot in the head in front of her family’s home in Khartoum, and Omar Adam who was shot in his neck during protests in the capital city.
The military takeover sparked a chorus of international condemnation, including punitive aid cuts, with world powers demanding a swift return to civilian rule.
Demonstrators have rallied since, despite internet outages and disruptions of communication lines, which forced activists to disseminate calls for protests via graffiti and SMS messages.
Since last month’s coup, more than 100 government officials and political leaders, along with a large number of demonstrators and activists, have been arrested.
Pro-democracy groups have promised to continue protesting until the return of the Sovereign Council.
In an interview with Al Jazeera earlier this month, al-Burhan said he was committed to handing over power to a civilian government, promising not to participate in any government that comes after the transitional period. But last week he announced the formation of a new Sovereign Council and appointed himself as its head.
Al Jazeera and news agencies
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