Opposition activists, led by the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), have called for further demonstrations in Khartoum and other cities on Sunday, January 27, prompting the arrests of organizers by security forces. Organizers indicated that police arrested SPA activists on Saturday, January 26, after they called for sit-in protests at squares and other gathering points in Khartoum, Omdurman, and Khartoum North, from 15:00 (local time) on Sunday. Additional opposition activists with the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) and journalists were also detained in the police operation. Heightened security measures and localized transportation disruptions are to be expected around any demonstration sites, and further clashes between protesters and security forces are likely. Further protests are possible in the coming days.
Anti-government protests broke out on December 19 as hundreds of protesters gathered in major urban centers - notably in Atbara (Nile River state), Al-Qadarif (Al-Qadarif state), Port Sudan (Red Sea state), Khartoum, and even in the Darfur region in Al-Fasher and Nyala - initially to demand increased government transparency and the implementation of anti-inflation measures; their demands have since broadened to demand that President Omar al-Bashir, in power since 1989, step down. Curfews have been implemented in at least eight cities in response to the unrest, including in Kosti and Rabak (White Nile state), Al-Qadarif (Al-Qadarif state), Atbara, Al-Damir, and Berber (River Nile state), as well as in Dongola and Karima (Northern state). The Sudanese government also blocked social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, on December 31 to suppress ongoing anti-government protests in the country, and continued connectivity disruptions are to be expected in the near term.
Sudan's government has confirmed the deaths of 29 people in the protests, but this number has been disputed by rights groups that claim over 40 people have died; more than 1000 others have been detained since the demonstrations began.
President Omar Al-Bashir made a speech on January 20 blaming outside actors for the deaths that have taken place over the course of the month-long protest movement, stating that police had arrested men who confessed to killing protesters "in order to fuel the conflict, instigate sedition, and destroy the country." The president further vowed not to step down except if voted out in elections planned for 2020.
Individuals in Sudan are advised to monitor the situation, anticipate telecommunication disruptions, obey all 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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