CAIRO – Sudan’s military authorities have arrested a former high-ranking government official for the second time, his party said, and at least one protester was killed when thousands took to the streets again on Monday to protest the October military coup.
The Unionist Alliance reported that former member of the ruling Sovereign Council Mohamed al-Faqi Suliman was detained in the capital Khartoum on Sunday. It says security forces stopped his car as he was heading from his home to party headquarters.
Suliman was also the deputy head of a government agency tasked with eliminating the legacy of the regime of former autocratic President Omar al-Bashir.
Also on Sunday, security forces arrested two former agency employees, a security official said on condition of anonymity. The agency is known as the Dismantling Committee of the regime from June 30, 1989 in connection with the Islamist-backed military coup that brought al-Bashir to power.
The official said the three were taken to Suba prison in Khartoum. He said he had been charged with running an agency that the military disbanded after seizing power on October 25th.
Suliman was detained during the coup and released a month later under an agreement between the military and then-Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok.
He was the last of a number of former government officials and activists will be detained in recent weeks as military leaders intensified repression against anti-coup groups.
Last week, authorities also re-arrested Khalid Omar, a minister in the ousted transitional government. Wagdi Saleh, another member of the committee, was also arrested. Omar is the leader of the opposition Sudanese Congress party. The party said prosecutors had ordered Omar and Saleh to remain in custody for another 15 days. It does not provide more details.
Detentions have intensified in recent weeks as Sudan plunged into further unrest with almost daily street protests following the coup.
The takeover interrupted Sudan’s transition to democratic rule, which began after three decades of international isolation led by al-Bashir, who was ousted from power in 2019 after a popular uprising.
Protesters marched again in Khartoum and its sister city of Amdurman on Monday, demanding the creation of a fully civilian government to govern the transition period, the pro-democracy movement said. Protests have taken place in other cities, including Port Sudan and Wad Madani, the report said.
The movement shared footage on the Internet showing protesters in Khartoum beating drums and holding a Sudanese flag during a march through the streets of Khartoum. Others held placards depicting arrested activists and former officials with the slogan “Freedom to Detainees.”
Security forces brutally dispersed protests in several places in Khartoum and Omdurman, using live ammunition and tear gas, activist Nazim Sirag said. According to him, at least one demonstrator was shot dead in Khartoum. The Sudanese Committee of Doctors said the man was shot in the neck and chest.
Many others were injured, including with a handgun during a brutal crackdown on protesters, especially at the Sharwani bus station south of the presidential palace in Khartoum, Sirag added.
The capital’s security authorities have urged protesters to gather in public squares to avoid new clashes with the forces. According to the Sudanese medical team, about 80 people were killed and 2,200 were injured in the deadly crackdown on protesters after the coup.
Sudan was politically paralyzed after the coup. The unrest erupted after the resignation last month of Hamdock, who complained that no compromise had been reached between the generals and the democratic movement.
Meanwhile, African Union President Musa Faki Mahamat met on Sunday with General Abdel Fattah Burhan, head of the Sovereign Council, in Khartoum as part of an international effort to find a way out of the crisis, the council said.
The Mohammad also met with the Sudanese Association of Professionals, which reiterated its demand for the removal of the military from power, the association said.
However, the generals said they would hand over power only to an elected administration. They say the election will take place in July 2023, as planned in the constitutional document governing the transition period.
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