Sudan timeline: Military crackdown on pro-democracy protest

AFP , Monday 3 Jan 2022

After civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok resigned following another deadly crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, we look at developments in Sudan since the October military takeover which disrupted a transition to civilian rule in the wake of autocrat Omar al-Bashir's overthrow in 2019.

Sudanese protesters gather amid tear gas fired by security forces on al-Qasr street, during a demonstration against the October 25 military takeover, in the capital Khartoum, on January 2, 2022. AFP

Civilian leaders detained 

On October 25, soldiers arrest civilian members of the transitional government, including Hamdok, for refusing to back their takeover.

Led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, they declare a state of emergency.

Hamdok's office urges protesters to take to the streets, where security forces fire on demonstrators, killing several and wounding dozens.

The military takeover sparks an immediate international backlash, with calls to free Hamdok. The United States says it is pausing $700 million in aid.

Protesters stand firm 

Protesters remain on the streets overnight and into October 26, manning barricades and chanting, "No to military rule."

Shops remain shuttered after calls for a campaign of civil disobedience.

Hamdok is put under house arrest.

On October 27, Sudanese security forces make sweeping arrests of protesters, after officers fire tear gas and dismantle barricades.


 International pressure 

The African Union suspends Sudan, and the World Bank freezes vital aid to the poverty-stricken country, already hit by a dire economic crisis.

On October 28, more tear gas is fired along with rubber-coated bullets to disperse furious protests, as the UN Security Council calls on the new military rulers to restore the civilian-led government.

Ministers released 

On November 4, as international pressure builds, four civilian ministers are released.

A week later Burhan ,the de facto strongman since Bashir was ousted in 2019-forms a new ruling council.

He maintains his position as chief, while military figures and ex-rebel leaders keep their posts. The main bloc demanding a transfer to civilian rule is excluded.

 Blood on the streets 

But at least five people are killed on November 13 by security forces seeking to stem anti-military takeover protests.

And in what becomes the bloodiest day since the military takeover, 15 protesters are shot dead by security forces on November 17.

 Deal for Hamdok's return 

Four days later Burhan and Hamdok sign a 14-point deal to reverse the military takeover and restore the transition to civilian rule, with elections in 2023.

Hamdok is reinstated as prime minister, and the deal says all political detainees will be freed.

But thousands reject the pact and take to the streets in renewed protests nationwide as a crackdown continues.

Several civilian leaders detained since the military takeover are released.

 Anniversary protests 

On December 19, the third anniversary of Bashir's overthrow; two men are shot dead and the UN says it received allegations that 13 women and girls were raped during rallies by hundreds of thousands of protesters pushing for a civilian-led transition.

Thousands more gather six days later braving a heavy presence of security forces who fire tear gas to disperse them.

More anti-military takeover protests erupt on December 30, despite the cutting of communication links and a tight lockdown in the capital.

Hamdok quits 

After security forces kill three more protesters on Sunday Hamdok resigns, saying Sudan "is crossing a dangerous turning point that threatens its whole survival."

Since the October 25 military takeover, at least 57 people have been killed, according to pro-democracy medics.

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