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Doctors and professors arrested amid renewed calls for Bashir’s ousting

Protestors chanted 'just fall' and called for a transitional government [AFP]

Date of publication: 12 February, 2019

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Sudanese demonstrators continue to call for Bashir's ousting on Tuesday, when 19 professors were arrested in Khartoum and doctors protested the detention of their colleagues.

Protesters gathered again in towns across Sudan on Tuesday to call for an end to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir's three-decade rule and the formation of a transitional government.

Tuesday's demonstrations were called by the Sudanese Professionals Association, an umbrella of independent professional unions that includes doctors, teachers, lawyers and other professionals.

Video footage shows demonstrators gathering at intersections chanting "just fall," and calling for a "people's revolution."

As demonstrating professors left the grounds of the University of Khartoum for the main street, chanting "the solution is for the president to step down from power and leave his government", security forces swept in and arrested 19 of them and the others were banned from continuing, AP reported.

Doctors in hospitals across the country gathered to hold protest vigils calling for the swift release of their colleagues.

Medics have been at the forefront of leading protests in Sudan.

Five doctors had also been arrested while demonstrating at the Khartoum Teaching Hospital in Sudan's capital on Sunday. Dentists and pharmacists also gathered to protest the arrests.

Sudan's Doctors Syndicate is a member of the Sudanese Professionals Association, responsible for organising Tuesday's protests.

The union has spoken out against the excessive use of tear gas to attack demonstrators, including inside homes and hospitals. It stated in January that doctors were an early voice of dissent, having protested against the "collapsed health system" through strike action before the current wave of protests began.

Protests will again be held in rural areas on Wednesday to rally against human rights violations and wars, when the protests will reach their ninth week.

Demonstrators have been protesting against the Sudanese regime since mid-December. Sudanese civilians began to rally against Bashir when the regime cut subsidies, tripling the price of bread. Further protests have been prompted by police brutality towards protesters and accusations of the torture of detainees.

While the regime claims 30 people have died in protest-related violence, activists claim the death toll stands at 57.

Vice President Faisal Hassan Ibrahim rejected the possibility of forming a transitional government on Monday, stressing there would be no opportunity for any new government until Sudan’s 2020 elections.

"Change does not come through protests, slogans, sabotage or the implementation of an outside agenda", he said in front of a pro-regime crowd in West Darfur.

"The Sudanese people are the ones who will decide who will rule in the 2020 elections."

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