July 13, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese police used teargas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters who emerged from Wad Nubawi Mosque in Omdurman on Friday, in the third crackdown on anti-regime demonstrations over a month.
The protest which activists named the “Kandaka” after a legendary ancient queen in honor of the struggles of Sudanese women is part of a series of anti-regime demonstrations that have been gripping the capital Khartoum and other regional towns for the past month.
Security authorities including the police and pro-regime militiamen known as the Rabata used violence to suppress what state media describe as small groups of rioters, arresting over 2000 people in the process, according to local rights groups.
Friday’s protest started following prayer at Wad Nubawi Mosque in Khartoum’s twin-city of Omdurman. The mosque, which belongs to the Ansar religious sect that is associated with the opposition National Umma Party (NUP), has been the epicenter of Friday’s weekly protests for the past two weeks.
Eye witnesses told Sudan Tribune that around 300 protesters led by women emerged from the mosque chanting slogans calling for freedom and the downfall of the regime. Heavily deployed police and security forces met them with teargas and rubber bullets. Witnesses said that more than 30 people were arrested in the crackdown.
Police also used violence to suppress another protest in Bait Al-Mal area in Omdurman. Activists say that police arrested more than 10 people in similar protests in Al-Obied and Um Rawaba towns in North Kordofan State.
The opposition Sudanese Congress Party (SCP) announced that the chairman of its branch in Um Rwaba, Hatim Mirghani Abdel Rahman, was arrested in the protest.
As usual, the police refused to comment on the events in an attempt to downplay them. The police spokesperson Al-Sir Ahmad Omer denied the occurrence of any clashes on Friday. “Nothing happened today and no clashes occurred” he told Reuters.