On Tuesday, June 30, police in Khartoum deployed tear gas to disperse protesters that had gathered to demand political reform and justice for those killed in protests last year. Similar protests took place throughout Sudan, with thousands of people taking part. A large security presence was reported on roads leading to military and government buildings, with bridges in Khartoum also closed as a security precaution amid fears of Islamist groups infiltrating the protests.
Further unrest and associated security operations are likely in the near term.
Sudan is currently in a three-year transition period under a joint civilian-military administration after the long-serving president Omar al-Bashir was ousted amid widespread anti-government protests in April 2019. However, pro-democracy groups under the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) coalition and the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) have continued to press for the expedited transfer to full civilian rule ahead of elections in 2022.
Tensions also remain over the clearing of pro-democracy sit-ins in Khartoum by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militia on June 3 2019, during which over 100 protesters were killed. The transitional government has promised a full investigation into the incident, but the leader of the RSF Mohamed Hamdan 'Hemedti' Dagalo remains an influential figure in the transitional administration and there has so far been little accountability for the incident.
Those in Khartoum and over major cities are advised to monitor developments, minimise non-essential travel, and heed any directives issued by local authorities. All demonstrations and political gatherings in Sudan should be avoided due to the high risk of incidental violence and aggressive crowd-dispersal operations by security forces.
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