Sudanese soldiers have intervened to protect demonstrators after security forces tried to break up a protest by thousands of anti-government demonstrators camping outside the Defense Ministry in central Khartoum today.
According to reports, riot police and secret service personnel charged the demonstrators with pickup trucks while firing tear gas, trying to disperse a crowd estimated at around three thousand men and women but witnesses and activists say that soldiers guarding the compound had come out to protect the demonstrators, firing warning shots in the air.
Witnesses said that the security forces retreated without firing back while demonstrators chanted “The army is protecting us” and “One people, one army”. There were no immediate reports of casualties.
Demonstrators accuse Bashir of presiding over years of repression and promoting policies that devastated the economy. The former army general who came to power in a military coup in 1989 is wanted by international prosecutors for alleged war crimes in the westerly Darfur region.