Sudanese security forces have arrested dozens of opposition leaders in the country’s capital of Khartoum, Germany’s Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) reported yesterday quoting eyewitnesses.
“A group of security forces’ vehicles arrested prominent leaders of opposition parties, allied with the Sudanese Professionals’ Association (SPA), in front of a mosque’s gate located in Al-Souq Al Arabi area near the presidential palace,” the witnesses said. They explained that the detainees included the Communist Party leader, Mokhtar Al-Khatib, the deputy head of the Umma Party, Mariam Al-Sadiq, as well as the party’s secretary general Sara Naqdallah, and the leader of the Sudanese Baath Party, Yahya El Hussein.
The locals pointed out that the detainees were transferred to a political security building in the Khartoum’s northern district of Bahari.
The Sudanese police, the witnesses explained, stopped the so-called “Procession of Departure” rally as the protestors were on their way to deliver a petition to the presidential palace calling for the Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir to step down.
“The security forces fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters in the Al-Souq Al-Arabi area in Khartoum,” the local sources noted.
Nearly-daily protests have spread across Sudan since 19 December. Price increases and cash shortages triggered the demonstrations but developed into protests against President Omar al-Bashir’s three-decade rule.
Activists say nearly 60 people have been killed in the protests, while the official death toll is 32, including three security personnel.