Sudan Protests Death Toll Reaches 24, Panel Says

Sudanese protesters

In previous weeks the protests began only after sundown.

Bashir has so far resisted calls for his resignation, accusing Western countries and other outside forces of orchestrating the protests against his rule and seeking to destabilise the country.

North of Khartoum, witnesses said demonstrators blocked the main road linking the capital to the Red Sea city of Port Sudan, witnesses said, without giving any further details.

Three demonstrators were killed during protests on Thursday and Amnesty International accused security forces of chasing injured victims into the Omdurman hospital.

The commission said it was "calling upon the government to investigate this and bring the criminals to court".

The protests first erupted in towns and villages before spreading to the capital, with angry crowds calling for an end to Bashir's three decades in power.

They also urged protests in Niyala and El-Fasher in Darfur, the first such rallies to be called in the region.

Official figures given by the Interior Ministry indicate that 816 people have been arrested across the country and 19 killed, but the opposition coalition says over 40 people have been killed.

Rights groups and the European Union have said that security forces used "live ammunition" on protesters.

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The crisis has deepened since a year ago, when the country saw some brief protests over bread shortages.

Repeated shortages of food and fuel have been reported in several cities, including Khartoum, while the costs of foods and medicines have more than doubled.

Bashir has blamed the violence during the protests on "conspirators" without naming them.

The US imposed a trade embargo on Khartoum in 1997 that was lifted only in October 2017. It restricted Sudan from conducting global business and financial transactions.

Since the secession of South Sudan in 2011, Khartoum lost three quarters of its oil revenue, crippling an economy already wracked by 20 years of U.S. sanctions.

The president has remained defiant telling thousands of loyalists at a Khartoum rally on Wednesday that his government would not give in to economic pressure.

But critics of Bashir say his government's mismanagement of key sectors and its huge spending on fighting ethnic minority rebellions in Darfur and areas near the South Sudan border have been stoking economic trouble for years.

The death toll from protests in Sudan that began last month has risen to 24, the head of the Sudanese government fact-finding committee Amer Ibrahim said on Saturday.

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