Thousands rally in Sudan against military coup
Thousands of Sudanese protesters on Monday marched against the October military coup which has led to scores of arrests, as authorities released some of those held, witnesses and lawyers said.
Regular protests calling for civilian rule have occurred throughout the impoverished northeast African country despite a deadly crackdown since the power grab led by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.
The coup, Sudan's latest, sparked wide international condemnation and cuts in aid.
At least 82 people have been killed, many of them shot dead, and hundreds wounded by security forces, according to medics. The latest fatality came on Sunday.
"The number of people detained has exceeded 200," according to a statement by a group of anti-coup lawyers, which confirmed that some had been ordered released.
Multiple political figures and pro-democracy activists are among those who have been detained.
Pro-democracy lawyer Enaam Attik said authorities have ordered that more than 40 people arrested in the crackdown on anti-coup protests be freed.
During Monday's demonstrations, protesters called on the military "to go back to the barracks" in the city of Wad Madani, south of Khartoum, witnesses said.
In the eastern state of Gedaref they chanted, "Civilian is the people's choice," according to witness Amal Hussein.
Demonstrators also marched to rally outside a government building in the Red Sea city of Port Sudan but security forces blocked their route with tear gas, according to witnesses.
In the eastern border state of Kassala, young protesters chanted, "No, no to military rule" as they headed toward a military base in the city, witness Hussein Idris said.
Security forces in the capital Khartoum fired tear gas at hundreds of protesters who tried to rally outside the presidential palace, where the ruling Sovereign Council is based along the Nile River, an AFP correspondent said.
The latest demonstrations came one day after United Nations human rights expert Adama Dieng arrived on his first official visit to Sudan.
Dieng is scheduled to meet with senior Sudanese government officials, diplomats, rights defenders and others.
The military takeover derailed a transition to full civilian rule negotiated between military and civilian leaders following the 2019 ouster of strongman president Omar al-Bashir.