The anti-government protests in Sudan are showing no signs of slowing down. While the people think the protests will ultimately force Omar al-Bashir to resign from the President post, the Sudan government isn’t ready to bow down anytime soon. Omar al-Bashir has ruled the country since 1989.
While addressing a parliamentary session convened to discuss the ongoing protests and the Sudanese authorities’ response to the ongoing crisis, Interior Minister, Ahmed Bilal Osman, said the only viable means of bringing in a change will be via the ballot box and not through protests or demonstrations.
“Regime change will not happen without elections – protests are not constitutionally viable,” Bilal told Parliament on Monday, according to Aljazeera.
Osman revealed that 19 people, including two police officers, have reportedly been killed in anti-government demonstrations that have been taking place across Sudan since last month, while more than 800 protestors have been arrested.
“The total number of protesters arrested until now is 816,” Osman said.
He went on to accuse the demonstrators of damaging public property including the ruling National Congress Party’s (NCP) buildings and offices and indulging in stealing and looting after receiving support from covert parties.
“The demonstrations began peacefully, but some thugs with a hidden agenda used them to indulge in looting and stealing,” the minister said, adding that the situation across Sudan was now “calm and stable”.
Osman revealed that around 118 buildings were destroyed in the protests, including 18 that belonged to the police, while 194 vehicles were set on fire including 15 that belonged to international organizations.
This is the first official figure for detained protesters since rallies began on 19 December against the country’s poor economic situation, tough living conditions and the increase in bread prices. The rights group Amnesty International has, however, put the death toll at 37.