Sudan coup 2021: Live updates
Good evening readers,
We are wrapping up our live blog for today as protests in Sudan wind down for the night, but Middle East Eye will continue to monitor the situation in the coming hours on our website.
The main takeaways of this Saturday:
- Security forces began dispersing demonstrations, which took place across Sudan today, as soon as they began to gather in the early afternoon.
- At least five pro-democracy protesters were killed.
- Troops loyal to General Burhan stormed Al-Arbaeen hospital in Omdurman, assaulting the wounded and medical staff.
- Internet in the country remains down, marking 20 days since the outage began.
Sudan's police force has alleged that it did not use firearms against protesters on Saturday, state TV has reported.
At least five people have been confirmed dead so far, at least two of whom were fatally shot, while a third asphyxiated on tear gas. Several videos have made rounds on social media appearing to show soldiers firing at protesters in Khartoum.
Police forces have said at least 39 officers have been seriously injured.
Meanwhile, at least 40 protesters have been seriously injured, medical sources told MEE's Mohammed Amin on the ground in Khartoum.
Hundreds of protesters have gathered in London outside the embassies of Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, expressing their support for anti-coup demonstrators in Sudan. All three countries enjoy close ties with Sudan's military.
While Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has backed army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the UAE and Saudi Arabia joined the US and UK last week in a joint statement that urged leaders of the coup to restore the civilian government.
"The U.S. Embassy deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries of dozens of Sudanese citizens demonstrating today for freedom and democracy, and condemns the excessive use of force," it said in a post to Twitter.
Speaking over the phone to MEE from Khartoum, Mai, a civic activist, and business owner described armed forces shooting live rounds for at least three hours on Khartoum's Sixtieth Street, while she hid inside a nearby building.
"At some moments it was really intense," she said, saying that tear gas cannisters were falling into the garden of the building she was sheltering in.
Two more protesters have been killed, the health ministry of Khartoum state announced on Facebook, taking toll of known deaths on Saturday to five.
A third pro-democracy protester has died, asphyxiated by tear gas, the Sudan Doctors Committee reported, bringing the total known death toll to three.
The health ministry of Khartoum state has confirmed that a protester was shot and killed on Sixtieth Street, taking the known death toll on Saturday to two.
A medical source from the Royal Care hospital in Khartoum told Middle East Eye's correspondent on the ground that they have treated at least 20 wounded people today.
AFP has published photos of today's protests:
Several videos appearing to show soldiers firing at protesters are emerging from Khartoum.
Another video shows someone receiving treatment, reportedly for a bullet wound to the leg.
Sudan Doctors Committee has issued a warning that mini-buses are rounding up protesters, deceiving them with revolutionary flags. According to the committee, the buses are heading to main rally points where protesters have gathered and taking people to unknown locations.
The committee is warning that they could be kidnapping people, and called on protesters to not take any transport unless pre-arranged by trusted committees or protest organisations.
Sudan Doctors Committee has announced the death of a protester in the city of Omdurman as a result of live ammunition.
The committee also stated that there had been reports of a large number of injuries as a result of live ammunition being used in several parts of the country’s capital, Khartoum, while medical staff are finding it difficult to get to the injured.
Internet coverage has been down in Sudan now for 20 days, monitor NetBlocks tweeted.
In the lead-up to the military take-over in Khartoum, the focal point of increasing tensions had been Port Sudan, the country's main commercial artery, which is owned by the military-controlled Sudan Sea Ports Corporation. Today, there have been protests in the city:
The fate of Sudan is likely tied to regional powers and their local Sudanese allies, all of whom are caught up in a scramble for the Red Sea, one analyst told Middle East Eye recently.
"Watch Port Sudan," he said. "That will tell you who is in control."