Opposition activists, led by the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), called for a demonstration in Khartoum on Thursday, February 21. Protesters are expected to gather at 13:00 (local time) at the Arab Market (Souq al-Arabi) and march towards the Presidential Palace. Heightened security measures and localized transportation disruptions are to be expected around any demonstration sites; clashes between protesters and security forces are possible. Further protests are possible in the coming days and weeks.
Anti-government protests began on December 19, 2018, as hundreds of protesters gathered in major urban centers - notably Atbara (River Nile state), Al-Qadarif (Al-Qadarif state), Port Sudan (Red Sea state), Khartoum, and Al-Fashir and Nyala in the Darfur region. Protests initially demanded increased government transparency and improved economic policies but have broadened to demand the resignation of President Omar al-Bashir, who has been in power since 1989 and vowed not to step down until at least 2020. Curfews have been implemented in at least eight cities, including Kosti and Rabak (White Nile state), Al-Qadarif, Atbara, Al-Damir and Berber (River Nile state), and Dongola and Karima (Northern state). The Sudanese government has also blocked or limited access to social media sites since December 31, 2018. Continued connectivity and telecommunications disruptions are to be expected in the near term. The government has confirmed the deaths of at least 30 people due to protests, though human rights groups claim as many as 51 people have died and 1000 others have been arrested since the protests began.
Individuals throughout Sudan are advised to monitor the situation, anticipate telecommunications disruptions, adhere to instructions issued by their home government as well as those of the local authorities (including curfew orders), and avoid all protests due to the risk of violence and arrest.
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