KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudanese police and Rapid Support Forces used tear gas on Monday to disperse dozens of protesters in Khartoum North and removed barriers they had set up on a main street leading to the heart of the capital, a Reuters witness said.
The dispersal came as stalled talks between the opposition and the ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) resumed.
The protesters had gathered to pile pressure on the ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) to hand power to civilians. The forces moved against the demonstrators after they had blocked a road leading to al-Mek Nimir Bridge, a main artery of Khartoum.
A Reuters witness said police, backed by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, dismantled barriers that were erected by protesters at the entrance to the bridge, causing traffic jams. The forces also dispersed about 100 protesters, but there were no reports of casualties.
Traffic in the capital had come to a near standstill, the Reuters witness said.
The Sudanese Professionals’ Association, which spearheaded demonstrations that led to the ousting on April 11 of long-time president Omar al-Bashir, has been locked in negotiations with the TMC over a proposed joint civilian-military body to oversee the country.
Protesters, demanding a swift handover of power to civilians, have been camped out outside the Defence Ministry compound in central Khartoum since April 6.
Reporting by Khartoum bureau; Writing by Yousef Saba; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Ed Osmond