clearn.png
Wednesday July 24th, 2019 5:08AM

Sudan soccer fans clash with police, call on Bashir to leave

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

CAIRO (AP) — Fans at a soccer match in Sudan's capital chanted slogans demanding President Omar Bashir step down and later clashed with police in the Khartoum suburb of Omdurman, according to activists and video clips posted online.

The clips show the fans in the stadium chanting "The people want to bring down the regime," one of the main slogans of the Arab Spring uprisings of 2010 and 2011. They also chanted "Freedom!"

The video clips show that not all the fans were taking part in the chanting.

Activists said police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the fans after the match, in which local club al-Hilal beat a Tunisian side 1-0 in the African Champions League. Two of al-Hilal's all-time greats — retired players Haytham Mustafa and Faisal al-Agab — had called on fans to protest Bashir's rule during the match.

"Let the television networks hear your chants against the government. Go out and march to make the nation victorious and rewrite history again," al-Agab tweeted before the match. "Thank you al-Hilal fans, you have really shown that you are the true sons of the club of patriotism and freedom," Mustafa tweeted after the match.

In another tweet, al-Agab called on the fans of another Sudanese soccer powerhouse, al-Mareekh, to protest during and after a match scheduled for later Monday in Khartoum.

The activists said there were casualties among protesters when they clashed with police after Sunday's match, but they had no exact figures.

The violence was the latest in a series of anti-government protests across Sudan, which were initially sparked by rising prices and shortages of food and fuel, but soon turned to demands for Bashir to step down. There were no reports by Monday afternoon of fresh protests, but news has been traveling slowly because of internet disruptions engineered by authorities.

Bashir, in his mid-70s, seized power in a 1989 military coup that overthrew an elected but ineffective government. He is wanted by the International Criminal Court for committing crimes against humanity and genocide in the western Darfur region.

An opposition leader said 22 protesters have been killed in clashes with police since the unrest began last week. The government, which has imposed a near-total news blackout on the protests, has acknowledged fatalities but gave no figures.

Sudan's doctors, meanwhile, began an indefinite strike on Monday, with organizers reporting a widespread response. The strike is mainly focused on government hospitals, but the organizers said some doctors in private clinics were joining in.

The union of pharmacists said they would start an indefinite strike on Tuesday.

An umbrella coalition of professional unions said the doctors' strike would be the first of a series of work stoppages to force Bashir to step down. It said its members will march Tuesday on Khartoum's Republican Palace and submit a written demand for the president to step down. It also called on non-members to join in.

"Together we can rebuild everything and climb the ladder to progress and civilization," said a statement by the coalition, coalition, an independent entity which operates outside parallel groups loyal to the government. "Let us all unite. Come and join so we can realize the will of the people."

One of Sudan's largest political groups, the Democratic Unionist Party, expressed its support for Tuesday's march on the presidential palace and called on its supporters to join in. The party enjoys wide support in eastern and northern Sudan.

Seeking to staunch the unrest, authorities have arrested more than a dozen opposition leaders and suspended university and school classes in much of Sudan. They have also tightened censorship of newspapers and sought to stop journalists from covering the street protests.

Bashir received a lifeline from the military on Sunday, which assured him of its loyalty and said it will continue to protect the nation in coordination with the police and the country's feared security agencies.

Participants in the protests have so far numbered in the hundreds or low thousands in each location, but their continuation for nearly a week despite the use of force by police and the escalation by unions suggest a level of popular discontent that Bashir will find difficult to control.

A career soldier, Bashir seized power with Islamists in a 1989 military coup. He has ordered the use of force against protesters in the past — including in the last round of unrest in January — successfully crushing them to remain one of the longest-serving leaders in the region.

Although his time in power has seen one crisis after another, he is seeking a new term in office. Lawmakers loyal to him are already campaigning for constitutional amendments that would allow him to run in the 2020 election.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP World News
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Sudan soccer fans clash with police, call on Bashir to leave
Sudanese soccer fans call on Bashir to step down, clash with police
5:56AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Bangladesh deploys soldiers ahead of next Sunday's elections
Thousands of army soldiers are being deployed across Bangladesh to provide security and help conduct the national elections this coming Sunday that the opposition has alleged could be rigged
5:49AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Police say investigation into drones over Gatwick ongoing
Sussex Police insist investigations into drone sightings around London's Gatwick Airport are ongoing despite a comment from a senior detective that there may not have any drones over the airport after all
5:45AM ( 18 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Race to find survivors, aid victims after Indonesia tsunami
Doctors are working to help survivors and rescuers are looking for more victims from a deadly tsunami that smashed into beachside buildings along an Indonesian strait
3:50AM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: Searchers look for victims; tsunami toll now 280
Thousands of soldiers, police and government personnel as well as volunteers are working to find victims of an Indonesian tsunami that killed at least 280 people
1:10AM ( 4 hours ago )
London airport open, but location of drone culprit up in air
London's Gatwick Airport is operating without problems, but the drone operators who brought flights to a standstill over multiple days remain at large and a potential threat
9:56PM ( 8 hours ago )
AP World News
Bangladesh deploys soldiers ahead of next Sunday's elections
Thousands of army soldiers are being deployed across Bangladesh to provide security and help conduct the national elections this coming Sunday that the opposition has alleged could be rigged
5:49AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Police say investigation into drones over Gatwick ongoing
Sussex Police insist investigations into drone sightings around London's Gatwick Airport are ongoing despite a comment from a senior detective that there may not have any drones over the airport after all
5:45AM ( 18 minutes ago )
Mattis leaving Pentagon sooner than planned, Shanahan tapped
Mattis' stepped-up departure shifts focus to acting Pentagon chief, plans for permanent replacement
5:38AM ( 25 minutes ago )
French prime minister defends police targeted by protesters
Paris police are investigating alleged anti-Semitic comments by yellow vest protesters in the city subway toward a woman whose father died at Auschwitz
5:34AM ( 29 minutes ago )
White House: Trump would accept less money for border wall
White House official says it's 'very possible' partial shutdown will stretch into next year
5:29AM ( 35 minutes ago )