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Sudan official resigns due to high protest death toll

KHARTOUM, SUDAN - DECEMBER 13: Sudanese people stage a demonstration against the "military coup" and demanding civil, democratic rule in Khartoum, Sudan on December 13, 2021. ( Mahmoud Hjaj - Anadolu Agency )
Sudanese people stage a demonstration against the "military coup" and demanding civil, democratic rule in Khartoum, Sudan on December 13, 2021. [Mahmoud Hjaj - Anadolu Agency]

The Undersecretary of the Sudanese Ministry of Health Haitham Mohamed Ibrahim announced his resignation on Friday in protest against the: "Increased number of persons killed in protests and the raiding of hospitals by government forces."

Earlier on Friday, the Central Committee of South Sudan Doctors announced that the number of victims of the protests calling for civil rule in the country has increased to 53 since 25 October.

"The situation developed into violating the sanctity of hospitals, raiding them and beating the medical cadres," Ibrahim expressed in a letter of resignation addressed to Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

"The patients were also exposed to tear gas, despite our appeal to the responsible authorities more than once," Ibrahim added.

In early December, Hamdok ordered an investigation into video footage showing police storming a hospital treating people injured during the protests in Khartoum.

READ: Sudan health ministry warns of scale of repression of protesters

Ibrahim continued: "The increase in killings and injuries has led to pressure on health facilities to the extent that hospitals became unable to respond, calling volunteers and associations to fill the gaps. Political tension has affected the health sector, its partners and supporters, with the suspension of funding for health programmes without any signs of resolving the crisis."

"The Council of Ministers was not formed to contribute to solving issues that need support, backing and supreme sovereign decisions. All mechanisms have become disrupted to resolve issues."

Since 25 October, Sudan has witnessed protests against measures taken by army chief, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, including declaring a state of emergency, dissolving both the transitional Sovereignty Council and the Council of Ministers and dismissing Hamdok.

On 21 November, Al-Burhan and Hamdok signed a political agreement that included the latter's return to his position, forming a (non-partisan) government of competencies and releasing political detainees.

However, Sudanese political and civil forces consider the agreement an "attempt to legitimise the coup" and pledged to continue protests until achieving a "full civilian rule" during the transitional period.

Since 21 August, 2019, the country has been experiencing a transitional period that will end with elections in July 2023, during which power is shared by the army, civil forces and armed movements that signed an agreement with the government to bring peace in 2020.

READ: Sudan forces fire tear gas as protesters head to presidential palace

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