Sudan police fire tear gas at protesters in Khartoum

Death toll from protests rises to 24

Sudan's political crisis shows no sign of easing as anti-government protests enter their fourth week, with activists calling for further marches despite a violent crackdown on demonstrations. In previous weeks the protests began only after sundown.

Reuters witnesses said security forces used tear gas against dozens of demonstrators in Al Halfaya Bahri in southern Khartoum and against a separate demonstration by dozens of people who had emerged from Sayed Abdel Rahman Mosque in Omdurman, on the other side of River Nile to the capital.

Authorities said they had set up a commission to investigate the incident.

Anti-government demonstrations first erupted on December 19 in towns and villages before later spreading to Khartoum. The rest were killed in Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman and regions north and northeast of the capital.

"Patients and doctors in Omdurman Hospital were attacked with tear gas and live bullets as Sudanese security forces ramped up their mission to suppress peaceful protests", Sarah Jackson, Amnesty's deputy director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, said on Thursday.

They also urged protests in Niyala and El-Fasher in Darfur, the first such rallies to be called in the region.

Human Rights Watch said on Monday that at least 40 people had been killed, including children and medical staff.

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Since Dec.19, Sudan has been rocked by nearly daily protests sparked by rising food prices and cash shortages amid a deepening financial crisis.

Repeated shortages of food and fuel have been reported in several cities, including Khartoum, while the costs of foods and medicines have more than doubled.

Bashir and other officials have blamed Washington for Sudan's economic woes.

The US imposed a trade embargo on Khartoum in 1997 that was lifted only in October 2017.

Bashir came to power in a 1989 coup and has won successive elections that his critics say were neither fair nor free.

In a joint statement on Tuesday last week, the United States, United Kingdom, Norway and Canada condemned the violence and said Sudan's "actions and decisions over the coming weeks will have an impact on the engagement of our governments and others in the coming months and years", referring to ongoing efforts by the U.S. and UK to normalise relations with Sudan.

Since the secession of South Sudan in 2011, Khartoum lost three quarters of its oil revenue, crippling an economy already wracked by 20 years of U.S. sanctions.

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