Thousands of Sudanese protesters on Sunday rallied outside the army’s headquarters in the capital Khartoum for a second day, calling on the military to back their demand for President Omar al-Bashir to resign. The complex that also houses the Defense Ministry and the official residence of Bashir, whose nearly 30-year-rule the protesters are determined to end.
The crowds chanted “Sudan is rising, the army is rising,” protesters chanted. Security forces have made repeated attempts to drive the crowd from the area since the sit-in started on Saturday, but thousands are stil continuing their protest.
Read more: Are Sudan’s protests against Bashir regime doomed to fail?
Security forces killed at least five protesters during the weekend, including one medic, opposition representatives said on Sunday.
Later on the same day, the country suffered a nationwide blackout. It was not immediately clear if the power outage was linked with the unrest. Sudan’s ministry of electricity said the disruption was due to a technical glitch and added its engineers and technicians were working to restore power.
Protest organizers chose April 6 to begin the rally outside the army headquarters to mark the 1985 uprising that toppled the regime of President Jaafar Nimeiri.
“After what we did yesterday, we will not leave this area now until our mission is accomplished,” protester Osama Ahmed, who spent the night outside the compound, told French news agency AFP.
“We won’t leave this area until he steps down,” he said, referring to Bashir.
Read more: Anger over dictatorship, not bread, fueling Sudan uprising
State officials say 32 people have died since protests erupted in the east African country after a government decision to triple the price of bread. Human Rights Watch, however, has put the death toll at 51, including medics and children.
The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in December called on Sudanese authorities to investigate deaths during violent protests across the countries.
AFP, AP, Reuters