Anti-government protesters continue to hold sit-ins in the capital Khartoum as of the early morning (local time) of Thursday, April 11. The demonstrations, which have been ongoing since Saturday, April 6, remain centered around the Defense Ministry compound and other areas throughout the capital. Violent clashes continue to be reported, with National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) personnel attempting to disperse protesters on Wednesday, April 10, multiple times. According to a government spokesman, at least 11 people died on Wednesday, including six members of the security forces. A heavy security presence remains around the sit-in at the Defense Ministry, with soldiers protecting the protesters from other government security personnel.
Leaders of President Omar al-Bashir’s political party, the National Congress Party (NCP), are calling for supporters to gather in Khartoum on Thursday. Heightened security measures and associated transportation disruptions are to be expected nationwide - notably in Khartoum, Khartoum North, and Omdurman - near demonstration sites over the coming hours and days. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
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. Protesters initially demanded increased government transparency and economic reforms but have since broadened their scope to demand the resignation of President Omar al-Bashir, who has been in power since 1989 and has vowed not to step down until at least 2020.
President Omar al-Bashir declared a one-year state of emergency on February 22, dissolved the cabinet, and dismissed all state governors; the length of the state of emergency was subsequently reduced to six months by parliamentary vote, and is expected to remain in effect until August 2019. Bashir also banned all unauthorized rallies and gatherings on February 25, following weeks of anti-government protests. Opposition leaders have defied the declaration and have called on supporters to continue protesting.
Individuals in Khartoum, more generally Sudan, are advised to closely monitor the situation, avoid unnecessary travel, remain vigilant of their surroundings and be aware of possible spontaneous protest activities, adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments, and avoid all public gatherings and common demonstration sites due to the risk of violence and arrest.
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