Thousands of protesters held a sit-in outside of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s residence in Khartoum on Sunday. Thousands of other protesters are spending a second night camped outside Sudan’s army headquarters, demanding president Omar al-Bashir step down. It was the first time that protesters had reached the army headquarters without security forces being able to intervene, a sign the power of security forces could be weakening.
Videos of gunfire circulated online and organizers reported five demonstrators have been killed this weekend.
In previous protests, police have used live bullets, stun grenades and tear gas against the people protesting. More than 60 demonstrators have been killed since demonstrations began on December 19th. Protests have since spread to 35 cities.
Organizers say protests this weekends are the biggest against Mr Bashir since unrest began. The four-month popular uprising against the regime appears to be in a new phase. The sit-in protests followed rallies across Sudan on Saturday.
The country suffered a total power outage over the weekend, along with slowed internet speeds. Sudanese authorities did not provide an explanation for the blackout, saying only that they are working to restore power.
The president, who has ruled for 30 years, is thought to be reluctant to quit out of fear he will be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court for massacres in Darfur. Saudi Arabia and Egypt have offered Bashir exile. The protests this weekend have increased a sense of urgency and crisis among Mr Bashir’s inner circle.