Sudan protesters say report of child killed in demos was false

Sunday January 20 2019

Sudanese protestors burn tires

Sudanese protestors burn tires during an anti-government demonstration on January 18, 2019 in the capital Khartoum. PHOTO | AFP 

AFP
By AFP
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KHARTOUM,

A doctors' committee linked to anti-government protests in Sudan on Sunday apologised for incorrectly reporting that a child had been killed in the demonstrations.

Sudanese police said that two people had died in protests that rocked Khartoum on January 17, but the organisers had reported that three people were killed, including a child, in clashes with riot police.

"We apologise for this false report of a child killed in Thursday's demonstrations," a committee of doctors linked to the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) that is leading the protest movement said in a statement on Facebook.

"This mistake happened because we trusted a confident source, but we are now investigating the matter," it said, confirming that two people had died in the demonstrations on Thursday.

DEATH TOLL

On that day riot police broke up a march on the presidential palace in Khartoum by hundreds of people chanting "freedom, peace, justice" -- the key slogan of the protest movement.

Hours later, residents of the capital's Burri district staged a demonstration that led to clashes between riot police and protesters, witnesses said.

The total number of people killed in demonstrations since they first erupted on December 19 stands at 26, including two security personnel, according to official figures.

But rights group Amnesty International last week put the death toll at more than 40.

BREAD PRICE

Protests have rocked Sudan since December 19 when the government raised the price of bread, and since then have escalated into rallies against President Omar al-Bashir's three-decade rule.

The SPA has called for a march on Sunday on parliament in Omdurman, the twin city of Khartoum on the west bank of the Nile.

"The protesters will submit to parliament a memorandum calling on President Bashir to step down," added the association, which represents the unions of doctors, teachers and engineers.

The group said there will also be rallies in Khartoum on Sunday, to be followed by night-time demonstrations on Tuesday in the capital and in Omdurman.

"And on Thursday there will be rallies across all towns and cities of Sudan," the statement added.