Al-Bashir: Intruders kill demonstrators to create anarchy

Sudanese demonstrators gather in Khartoum's twin city Omdurman on Sunday, where Sudanese police fired tear gas at protesters ahead of a planned march on parliament. — AFP

KHARTOUM – Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir on Sunday blamed saboteurs, who are enemies of the nation, and some parties that are taking advantage of the demonstrations, while insisting that demonstrators who died in anti-government rallies were not killed by security forces.

Bashir rejected the accusations at a rally in Al-Kurreida village in the state of White Nile, alleging that groups within the protest movement were behind the killing of demonstrators.

"There are some people among the protesters who are killing the demonstrators," Bashir said in a speech broadcast live on state television, without specifying who the culprits were.

He said a doctor who died on Thursday in Burri was not killed by security forces. "The doctor who was killed in Burri was killed by a weapon that did not belong to the army, or NISS, or police," said Bashir. "He was killed by someone from among the demonstrators."

At the same time, he expressed his respect for the youth who demonstrated with the objective of seeking better life conditions. However, he stressed defending Sudan and protecting its security, stability and territorial safety are paramount.

Al-Bashir reaffirmed that reaching power should always be via the ballot box, while emphasizing that it is the youth who are Sudan’s future and the state will meet their just demands.

He blamed “intruders” of killing the demonstrators in order to stir anarchy in the country.

In a speech, Al-Bashir said intruders who are hiding among the demonstrators are killing them using weapons, the like of which neither the Sudanese army nor the police possess.

He said: “I am sure the youth have come out to express themselves, but undermining forces have intruded within the crowds of demonstrators to spread anarchy.” He added: “Anti-Islam forces are conspiring against stability in Sudan.”

Al-Bashir warned the youth against being used by others having their own agendas. He said the principles for exchange of power have not changed since he came to power.

He said that during investigations, these elements have admitted that they have killed several demonstrators. He reiterated that it is the ballot boxes that decide who should rule. The elections next year are not far and the Sudanese people’s choice will be respected, Al-Bashir stressed.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Joint Command Gen. Dr. Kamal Abdulma’rouf said the armed forces are in their best condition. They are stronger, more consolidated and vigilant against all conspiracies being hatched against Sudan.

On Sunday, Sudanese police fired tear gas at hundreds of protesters planning to march on parliament. Deadly protests, which erupted on Dec. 19 after a government decision to raise the price of bread, have turned into nationwide rallies against Bashir's three decades of rule.

On Sunday, hundreds of protesters attempted to march on parliament in Omdurman, the twin city of Khartoum, but they were quickly confronted by riot police who fired tear gas, witnesses said.

Protesters then staged simultaneous rallies in different neighborhoods of Omdurman in an attempt to gather again for the march, a witness said, but they were unable to.

Witnesses said that apart from Omdurman, protesters staged demonstrations in the capital's eastern district of Burri — site of clashes on Jan, 17 — and in the northern suburb of Bahari. — Agencies