Witness: Sudanese Police Fire Tear Gas, Live Ammunition at Protesters

Thousands of supporters cheered Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in Khartoum on Wednesday as opponents of Bashir rallied a short distance away and called for him to resign.

Bashir, speaking in central Khartoum’s Green Square, resolved not to step down.

“To those who are seeking power, there is one way which is in the ballot box, through free and fair elections,” he said, according to the Reuters news agency.

Meanwhile, police forcibly broke up the anti-Bashir demonstrations in Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman.

“We got a lot of tear gas from the police, security forces and the government militias,” said Rudwan Dawod, a political activist.

Dawod told VOA’s South Sudan in Focus that he saw two people injured by live ammunition. He says he witnessed one man being shot in the left part of his chest and another shot in his abdomen.

Video posted on social media Wednesday shows several people with bloodied clothes being treated at Omdurman Hospital.

Despite crackdowns by Sudanese police, Bashir opponents continue to gather for demonstrations that began Dec. 19, after a sharp rise in the price of bread.

Bashir, who has ruled Sudan for nearly 30 years, has withstood large-scale protests before.

But Dawod said this time around, he believes the protests will lead to political change. He notes protests have taken place in several cities, and says some policemen and army troops sided with the protesters Wednesday.

“They tell us that ‘We are with you so please go ahead, don’t give up!'” Dawod told VOA.

Dawod said one police officer told him, “I’m not going to fire any tear gas and I’m not going to arrest any protester.”

“So they are emotionally defeated now, especially the police,” Dawod said.

Source: Voice of America