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Sudanese protester killed as thousands decry military coup on one-year anniversary

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Sudanese protesters block a street in the capital, Khartoum, during demonstrations against last year's coup. (File photo by AFP)

Sudan has blocked internet access nationwide and its security forces have fired tear gas at thousands of protesters in an attempt to disperse large crowds of protesters marking the first anniversary of a coup that derailed the transition to civilian rule.

Thousands of protesters and pro-democracy activists took to the streets in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum and its suburbs on Tuesday, demanding an end to persisting military rule by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

The protesters faced heavy tear gas and stun grenades as they marched toward the presidential palace in Khartoum and in Omdurman across the Nile.

One person was killed in Omdurman when he was run over by a truck belonging to security forces.

The authorities in Khartoum ordered all public institutions, schools, and businesses shut, as security forces blocked roads and bridges.

In Atbara, north of Khartoum, hundreds of students took to the streets to protest the coup.

Waving Sudanese flags, angry protesters chanted slogans such as "power to the people" and "no partnership, no negotiation with the putschists" and demanded that "soldiers go back to the barracks."

Similar protests also took place across various parts of Sudan. Participants at massive rallies called for the creation of "a politically and economically-free Sudan, a civil democratic Sudan."

In a bid to stem protests, authorities restricted internet access across the country.

The Sudanese military, led by Burhan, seized power in October 2021, after detaining Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other civilian leaders and dissolving the year-old transitional government as well as the joint ruling military-civilian sovereign council formed after the 2019 ouster of longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir.

Back then, Burhan declared a state of emergency and vowed to form what he called a competent government. The move drew anger and outrage across the African country and sparked international condemnation, including from the United Nations Security Council.

The country has been rocked by protests ever since, leaving scores of people dead and hundreds more injured. Hundreds of activists have also been arrested in the clampdown under emergency laws.

For a year, near weekly anti-coup protests have been met with force, most recently on Sunday, when a protester was killed by a bullet fired by security forces. At least 119 people have been killed while demanding a return to civilian rule.

Sudan, one of the world's poorest countries, has been reeling from a plunging economy due to decades of international isolation and mismanagement.

The African country, home to 45 million people, is also dealing with a severe economic crisis and an inflation reaching 400 percent. The cost of food staples has jumped 137 percent in one year.

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