Sudan’s government is stepping up violent efforts to quell widespread protests in the country, according to a demonstrator interviewed on a VOA program.
Khartoum protester Nour El Din told VOA’s South Sudan in Focus on Monday that police “are hunting us, and they are using their guns, even inside houses.” He asked that his full name not be used in this story.
El Din, a mining engineer who attended protests in the Sudanese capital over the weekend, said the protests were organized by the Sudanese Professional Association (SDA), an umbrella group of independent professional unions in Sudan.
He said the protests took place in Bory and at Khartoum University, where teachers and university administrators joined the demonstrations. “The government used extreme violence,” as well as tear gas on protesters, according to El Din.
El Din said people in the neighborhood of Bory opened their doors to protesters running away from police. “We run from them into all the houses,” El Din said.
Police entered homes in Bory with guns drawn, according to El Din. He said while he did not see guns fired, he heard gunshots.
Protests began Dec. 19 after the government raised bread prices. More than 800 protesters were arrested at hundreds of anti-government demonstrations across the country over the past month, according to Sudan Interior Minister Ahmed Bilal. Protesters also have been demanding that President Omar al-Bashir step down after 29 years in office.
Authorities said at least 19 people have been killed in protests, but rights group Amnesty International said the death toll may be nearly double that.