Sudan opposition leader says 22 killed in bread protests

Sudan's opposition leader Sadiq al-Mahdi

Sudan's opposition leader Sadiq al-Mahdi

This comes one day after Gosh himself established strict censorship methods in the country, asking for NISS to be consulted before any paper going to press.

"Together we can rebuild everything and climb the ladder to progress and civilisation", said a statement by the coalition, an independent entity which operates outside parallel groups loyal to the government.

When South Sudan seceded to become the world's newest country in 2011, Sudan lost three quarters of its oil reserves.

Over the past three days, various areas in Sudan, including Khartoum, have been witnessing popular protests against the deteriorating economic conditions and price hikes of basic commodities.

Sudan's two largest political parties, the Democratic Unionist and Umma, expressed their support and called on their supporters to join Tuesday's march. "For the medical sector, there is complete destruction for the infrastructure, for the access of health services, for the cost of treatment, for the absence of life-saving medication, so the health sector is similar to education and other sectors in Sudan where there is an overall failure from the current government, therefore they have to step down and hand over the power to a government that can lead and can provide a better life for the people of Sudan", added Abdelgalil.

But others have spoken of higher death tolls.

Omdurman Islamic University students hold a demonstration in Khartoum, Sudan.

It was Mahdi's first news conference since he returned to Sudan on Wednesday after nearly a year in exile.

A fixture of Sudanese politics since the 1960s, Mahdi was prime minister from 1966 to 1967 and again from 1986 to 1989.

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Bashir, one of Africa's longest-serving leaders, took power in an Islamist and military-backed coup in 1989.

According to witnesses, demonstrations spread on Saturday to several more cities.

Sunday's clashes happened as crowds of people spilled out of a football match in Khartoum.

Protesters in Sudan took to the streets on Sunday for a fifth day, facing tear gas and arrests, as a wave of unrest has gripped the sub-Saharan nation since Wednesday.

In El Rahad south-west of Khartoum, hundreds of demonstrators shouting "no to hunger" were tear gassed, while administrative premises and the office of the NCP were set on fire, according to another witness.

Protests continued in the railway city of Atbara north of Khartoum as well, where police used tears gas and batons to disperse almost a 1,000 demonstrators, according to the activists, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

On Saturday the authorities arrested 14 leaders of the National Consensus Forces, an opposition coalition, including the grouping's 85-year-old leader Farouk Abu Issa, a spokesman said.

The arrests could not be officially confirmed.

This year, Sudan has grappled with inflation of more than 70 percent and a plunge in the value of the pound against the dollar. The strike is mainly focused on government hospitals, but the organisers said some doctors in private clinics were joining in.

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