Sudanese security forces fired tear gas on Monday as the broke up an attempt to march on the presidential palace to demand that long-time ruler Omar Al Bashir step down.
Hundreds of people had gathered at the Alqandoul roundabout in Khartoum, the starting point for the march, despite security vehicles blocking off streets leading to the area. Scattered groups of protesters remained in the area as police chased them and fired in the air.
Monday’s protest was the latest in nearly two weeks of nationwide demonstrations that began on December 19 after the government tripled the price of bread. Seventeen protesters and two security personnel have been killed, and more than 200 people were injured, according to the last government toll issued on December 27.
Mr Al Bashir met top police officers in the capital on Sunday and ordered them to avoid excessive force against demonstrators after the United Nations called for an investigation into the deaths and violence during the demonstrations.
“We want to maintain security and we want the police to do that by using less force,” the president said.
“We admit that we have economic problems… but they can’t be solved by destruction, looting, and theft,” he said, referring to the torching of buildings and political offices torched by protesters in several cities.
Security forces took up positions in key areas of the capital on Sunday night, while cameras were installed at some locations and all stones were removed from the streets in central Khartoum.