Written by Staff Writer at CNN
Six protesters have been killed in demonstrations in Sudan as the country remains in turmoil following a decision by parliament to delay a presidential election scheduled for April.
The death toll was confirmed by the government of Sudan, state news agency SUNA reported.
Separately, the spokesman for the Sudanese state minister of foreign affairs, Lam Awad Hassan, confirmed that the Al Jazeera bureau chief for Sudan, Abdullah Al-Qabas, has been arrested by the Sudanese security.
Al-Qabas’s arrest was the first major move by the Sudanese authorities against an international journalist since 2017.
Egyptian security forces have killed hundreds of protesters and arrested thousands since then.
Sudan’s cabinet has scheduled a meeting for Friday to discuss the protests.
The unrest was sparked by President Omar Al-Bashir’s decision to amend the country’s constitution to allow him to stay in power until 2034. Al-Bashir, who seized power in a 1989 coup, blames those protests on “internal sources,” and has repeatedly threatened to deal with their agents.
But state officials denied that authorities arrested an Al Jazeera bureau chief.
“These arrests do not contain any information regarding the arrest of Al Jazeera correspondent Abdullah Al-Qabas,” the state news agency reported.
Protests have continued to spread across Sudan even as Bashir’s advisers said the elections are being delayed until May due to their complexity. In Khartoum, demonstrators danced outside parliament while breaking the curfew, chanting slogans including “Al-Bashir is a coward,” “freedom, justice, we want” and “oppression has no religion.”
Abdel Karim Omar, spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said the Sudanese government and security forces are “pursuing only one course of action: to maintain control over the population by means of excessive use of force.”
“Those found responsible for human rights violations must be held accountable, transparently and transparently,” Omar said, adding that all human rights were being violated.