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Thousands of Sudanese protesters march towards the presidential palace on anniversary of the coup

Tens of thousands of protesters marched towards Sudan’s presidential palace in Khartoum on Tuesday marking the first anniversary of a coup that halted the country’s transition to democracy.

Internet services were blocked, according to the Netblocks watchdog group. Protesters burned tires on major highways, chanting “power belongs to the people, the military must be in the barracks,” Reuters reporters said.

Protesters marching from south Khartoum towards the palace and from central Omdurman towards the bridge connecting the city with the capital faced tear gas fired by security forces, according to reporters.

The military takeover halted Sudan’s transition to democracy after the ouster of Omar al-Bashir in 2019, adding to the problems for an already ailing economy. Foreign donors quickly cut ties, the currency plummeted, and the government raised taxes, triggering numerous strikes.

A year later, Sudan’s military leaders have not named a prime minister, while Bashir’s Islamist loyalists who were purged from the administration have returned. Bashir is in jail awaiting trial on charges he denies related to the coup that brought him to power in 1989 and the Darfur war at the turn of the century.

Tribal violence has erupted across the country, including in Blue Nile state over the past week, where up to 250 people have been killed, according to the United Nations.

The generals, who say they will step down when a government is formed, are negotiating with the Forces for Freedom and Change coalition, which shared power before the coup.

The talks are facilitated by the UN and the African Union, as well as the “Quad” made up of the United States, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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