Sudanese protesters stand on the stage to condemn violence during a demonstration. Umit Bektas/Reuters
A protest in the South Darfur city of Nyala ended in violence on Saturday, with security forces launching tear gas at protesters and firing gunshots, state news agency SUNA and Sudan's main protest organiser said.
Around 5,000 protesters marched peacefully from the Atash camp for the displaced to a military installation housing the 16th Infantry Division, SUNA said, citing South Darfur's governor. Sudan has seen frequent protests near military buildings.
The agency said protesters attacked military personnel and tried to seize military vehicles in the town, some 1,100 km southwest of Khartoum.
However the Sudanese Professionals' Association (SPA), which spearheaded protests that led to the ouster of president Omar al-Bashir last month, said the protesters were peaceful, and made no mention of casualties.
South Darfur Governor Hashim Khalid Mahmoud said four military and Rapid Support Forces personnel were injured, SUNA reported. He said the joint forces fired live ammunition into the air and used tear gas, but said no demonstrators were hurt.
The SPA is locked in a standoff with the ruling Transitional Military Council over who will control a proposed joint civilian-military body to oversee the country until elections can be held. Protests have continued in a bid to push the council to cede power to civilians.
The SPA, part of the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF) alliance, called on people across Sudan to take to the streets "in rejection of the practices of the regime in its new version, its security apparatus and its militias, and condemning their attacks on the peaceful rebels in Nyala".
The latest developments came as the prosecutor general's office said ousted president Omar Al Bashir had been charged over the killings of protesters during anti-regime demonstrations that led to the end of his rule last month.
Protest leaders had reached agreement with the ruling military council on the other main aspects of the transition.
Heavily armed security forces in pick-up trucks mounted with machine guns were deployed in large numbers all around the capital, while gunshots were heard from the protest site by an AFP journalist.
In order to protect the health and safety of citizens, especially given the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath, smoking of all forms (cigarettes, electronic cigarettes and shisha) is banned in closed public places," the health ministry said.
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