Last December, the first rally was held in Sudan to protest the soaring cost of bread. File photo
A court in Sudan on Monday sentenced 27 members of the country's security forces to death for torturing and killing a detained protester during the uprising against Sudan's longtime autocrat Omar Al Bashir earlier this year.
The death of protester Ahmed Al Khair, a school teacher, while in detention in February was a crucial point in the uprising that eventually led to the military’s ouster of Al Bashir.
Last December, the first rally was held in Sudan to protest the soaring cost of bread, marking the beginning of a pro-democracy movement that convulsed the large African country. That led, in April, to the toppling by the country's military of Al Bashir, and ultimately to the creation of a joint military-civilian Sovereign Council that has committed to rebuilding the country and promises elections in three years.
The anniversary of that protest this month drew teeming crowds to the streets in several cities and towns across the country, with people singing, dancing and carrying flags. In the morning, a train packed with exuberant demonstrators, clapping and chanting, arrived in the northern city of Atbara, the birthplace of the uprising, from the capital, Khartoum.
The "Justice First" marches were called by the Sudanese Professionals' Association, which has been spearheading the protests since December.
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.
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.
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The incident happened after thousands of Islamists launched their "long march" from the city toward the capital, Islamabad, demanding that the government release the leader of their outlawed party.