Hundreds of people in Toronto protest military coup in Sudan

·2 min read
Hundreds of people gathered in downtown Toronto on Saturday to protest against a military coup in Sudan. (CBC - image credit)
Hundreds of people gathered in downtown Toronto on Saturday to protest against a military coup in Sudan. (CBC - image credit)

Hundreds of people gathered in downtown Toronto on Saturday to protest against a military coup in Sudan.

The demonstrators waved flags, chanted slogans and held placards in Nathan Phillips Square to condemn the military for its actions and to call for human rights to be respected.

Saeed El-Hassan, a Sudanese Canadian activist, said democracy was returning to Sudan but the coup earlier this week brought an abrupt end to that process.

"We are gathering here today to show solidarity with the Sudanese people who are fighting the recent coup in Sudan on October 25," El-Hassan told reporters. "We are calling on Canadians from all cities to gather and to show solidarity with the people of Sudan."

El-Hassan said the Canadian government needs to speak out against the arrest and killing of civilians in Sudan. Tens of thousands protested in the capital of Khartoum and its twin city Omdurman on Saturday. Three protesters were killed in Omdurman.

"Right now, people on the street are fighting back for democracy," El-Hassan said.

He said the coup is illegitimate and more international pressure must be applied immediately.

The coup, condemned by the international community, has threatened to derail Sudan's fitful transition to democracy, which began after the 2019 ouster of long-time autocrat Omar al-Bashir. Since then, the military and civilian leaders have governed in an uneasy partnership.

Pro-democracy groups had called for protests across the country Saturday to demand the re-instating of a deposed transitional government and the release of senior political figures from detention.

The United States and the United Nations had warned Sudan's strongman, Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, that they view the military's treatment of the protesters as a test, and called for restraint.

Saturday's protest in Toronto was organized by the Sudanese Canadian Initiative in Support of Sudan's Uprising.

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