Internet Service Disrupted in Sudan’s Khartoum Ahead of Protest


People march to the presidential palace, protesting against military rule following last month's coup in Khartoum, Sudan December 19, 2021. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/File Photo

Opponents of military rule in Sudan planned their tenth major demonstration since an Oct. 25 coup on Saturday as internet services appeared to be suspended in the capital, Khartoum, a Reuters witness said.

Soldiers and Rapid Support Forces were out in force blocking roads leading to bridges linking Khartoum with Omdurman, its sister city across the Nile river, the witness said.

The SUNA state news agency reported that province of Khartoum closed bridges on Friday evening in anticipation of the protests. “Departing from peacefulness, approaching and infringing on sovereign and strategic sites in central Khartoum is a violation of the laws,” SUNA reported, citing a provincial security coordination committee.

“Chaos and abuses will be dealt with,” it added.

Protests against the coup have continued even after the reinstatement of the deposed prime minister, Abdallah Hamdok, last month, with demonstrators demanding no more government role for the military in a transition to free elections.

A senior official in one of the internet service provider companies in Sudan told Reuters that the disruption to the service followed a decision by the National Telecommunication Corporation, which oversees the sector.

The march planned for Saturday is due to converge on the presidential palace but the demonstration will end at 5 p.m. (1500 GMT), organisers say.

Last Sunday, hundreds of thousands of people marched to the presidential palace and the security forces fired volleys of tear gas and stun grenades as they dispersed protesters who had been trying to organise a sit-in.

Forty-eight people have been killed in crackdowns on protests since the coup, the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors said.

Hamdok was reinstated on Nov. 21.

Reporting by Nafisa Eltahir and Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Nayera Abdallah