As protesters near presidential palace, Sudan forces fire tear gas

A fallen tree blocks a road in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Dec 25, 2021, as protesters confront security forces during a demonstration demanding civilian rule. (AFP)

KHARTOUM – Protesters opposed to military rule reached near the presidential palace in the Sudanese capital on Saturday for the second time in a week, television images showed, despite heavy tear gas.

A Reuters witness said security forces fired tear gas to disperse the crowds on the tenth day of major demonstrations since an Oct 25 coup.

"Departing from peacefulness, approaching and infringing on sovereign and strategic sites in central Khartoum is a violation of the laws," SUNA state news agency reported, citing a provincial security coordination committee

Protests against the coup have continued even after Abdallah Hamdok was reinstated as prime minister last month. The demonstrators have demanded that the military play no role in government during a transition to free elections.

READ MORE: Hamdok: Probe launched into violations against protesters

A week ago, demonstrators begin a sit-in at the gates of the palace before being dispersed. But on Saturday they were met with by security forces and turned back.

"Departing from peacefulness, approaching and infringing on sovereign and strategic sites in central Khartoum is a violation of the laws," SUNA state news agency reported, citing a provincial security coordination committee.

"Chaos and abuses will be dealt with," it added.

Protesters in Khartoum chanted: "Close the street! Close the bridge! Burhan we will come straight to you," referring to military leader and sovereign council head Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

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Last Sunday, hundreds of thousands of people marched to the presidential palace and security forces fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse protesters.