BREAKING NEWS

Sudan deports 3 protest leaders to Juba

Agencies/Khartoum

Monday، 10 June 2019 12:29 AM

*Civil disobedience campaign enters day two *Internet blackout and power outages make communication difficult


A nationwide civil disobedience campaign by Sudanese protesters entered a second day Monday, as the authorities released and later deported three prominent rebels detained after a crackdown that left dozens dead.
Some shops opened and buses plied the streets of Khartoum, but much of the capital remained shut.
An Internet blackout and power outages made communication difficult.
Landline Internet connections were down across Sudan Monday, a week after mobile online services were cut following a deadly crackdown on protesters.
Internet lines from the country's main provider Sudatel stopped working in Khartoum in the early afternoon, an AFP correspondent said, adding the outage had affected embassies, luxury hotels and offices.
Cyber security monitor Netblocks said "an almost total blackout" started around noon local time.
"It's the first time Sudantel has cut off everything in the country," a spokesman for the group said.
The ruling military council announced that security forces on the streets would be boosted after four people were killed in clashes on Sunday -- two in Khartoum and two in Omdurman, just across the Nile river.
The disobedience campaign comes a week after a deadly raid on protesters in the capital left dozens dead, and almost two months since the April 11 ouster of longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir following months of protests.
Protesters had set up roadblocks across many areas of the capital that the ruling generals have vowed to remove in order to bring "life to normal".
Several shops, fuel stations and some branches of private banks were open in Khartoum Monday, an AFP correspondent who toured the capital said.
Public transport buses were also ferrying passengers, while more vehicles and people were seen on the capital's streets than the previous day.
But most parts of the capital and its key business districts remained closed as shopkeepers, traders and employees opted to remain indoors.
Those who ventured out said they had to earn their livelihood.
"If I work it does not mean that I don't support the revolution," said bus driver Abdulmajid Mohamed.
"I have to work to support my family or else we will have no money."
State television reported that Yasir Arman, deputy chief of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North which is part of the protest movement, was released along with two other leading rebels from the group, Ismail Jalab and Mubarak Ardol.
Arman later said he, along with Jalab and Ardol were deported from Khartoum to South Sudan after authorities claimed to have released the three men from detention.
"I was deported against my will... I have not been released; I have been deported from my country," Arman told an AFP reporter at a hotel in South Sudan's capital Juba.
"I came together with comrade Ismail Khamis Jalab and comrade Mubarak Ardol... I just want to confirm I have been deported against my will," Arman said, adding he had been well received by authorities in Juba.
Arman said on Twitter he had been "deported against my will by a military helicopter from Khartoum to Juba.
"I was not aware of where they were taking me. I asked them many times," he added, alleging that he, Jalab and Ardol had been tied up for their flight.
Arman arrived in Khartoum in late May to take part in talks with the ruling generals but was seized two days after the crackdown began.
Jalab and Ardol were detained after meeting visiting Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Khartoum on Friday for talks aimed at reviving negotiations.
The generals have blamed protesters for a deterioration in security in Khartoum and across the country.
"The Alliance for Freedom and Change (umbrella protest movement) is fully responsible for recent unfortunate incidents... including blocking roads which is violating international humanitarian laws," Lieutenant General Jamaleddine Omar said on state television late Sunday.
"The Military Council has decided to reinforce the presence of armed forces, RSF and other regular forces to help normal life return," the council member said, including the feared Rapid Support Forces, blamed by witnesses for the killings last week as a sit-in protest outside army headquarters was cleared.
He said security forces would provide "security to isolated civilians, reopen roads and facilitate the mobility of people, public and private transport and protect markets and strategic state installations".
Some residents called for the generals and protester leaders to narrow their differences.
"The two have to find common ground because if the situation continues like this, I'm worried we will lose our country," said Issa Omar, an employee at a workshop in Khartoum.
The death toll since the crackdown began on June 3 has reached 118, according to a doctors committee linked to the protesters who are pressing the military to hand over power to a civilian administration.
The health ministry, for its part, says 61 people died nationwide in last week's crackdown, 49 of them from "live ammunition" in Khartoum.
The Central Committee for Sudanese Doctors blamed forces supporting the ruling generals for the deaths on Sunday.
The Sudanese Professionals Association, which first launched protests against Bashir in December, has said the disobedience campaign would continue until power is transferred to a civilian government.


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