Sudan’s military forces have been called in to try to restore calm and prevent the onset of violence after a deadly attack on the oil city of Hawassa, in the south of the country. The attack was carried out by bandits who then stole and destroyed the police station and headquarters of the local government, killing at least nine people. The Sudanese security apparatus is heavily-armed and includes a large number of supporters of President Omar Al-Bashir who is in office for nearly three decades. Like his opponents, he remains well-known to many of his compatriots.
Following the morning assault, clashes were reported across the country, including in Darfur, the southwest, north, and the capital, Khartoum. “There is a very high level of self-defense in the national army at this point. There are tens of thousands of national soldiers who are no longer willing to work with thugs, criminals,” said Ahmed Ali Ayoub, head of the opposition Union Movement for Change.
In February 2018, millions took to the streets against Mr. Bashir who faces a Jan. 9, 2021 deadline from the International Criminal Court to appear for trial for alleged war crimes in Darfur. In December 2017, Mr. Bashir ordered the arrest of the UN aid chief, as he criticized the country’s humanitarian work.
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