Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir has pointed the finger of blame for those killed in ongoing protests at “infiltrators and saboteurs”. Picture: Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

Johannesburg – As the death toll continues to rise in the ongoing protests across Sudan Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir has pointed the finger of blame for those killed at “infiltrators and saboteurs”, claiming the weapons used to kill the protesters don’t exist in Sudan.

The Sudanese authorities claim the death toll is around 24 while the opposition claims it has reached 50. Amnesty International also supports a higher figure than Khartoum is giving.

Addressing an annual gathering of Sufi sects at Al-Kireida area in White Nile State, some 392 km south-west of the capital Khartoum on Sunday, Bashir said infiltrators have exploited the protests to burn and destroy property and kill demonstrators, the Sudan Tribune reported.

“The doctor of Burri neighbourhood was killed from within the protest by a weapon that is neither held by the army and police nor does it exist in Sudan,” said Bashir.

The president added that detainees from the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-AW), led by Abdel-Wahid Al-Nur, had confessed to have been ordered to infiltrate the mass protests and kill demonstrators in order to ignite a crisis to destroy Sudan.

This claim, however, has been dismissed by the SLM-AW leader as an “unfounded accusation” and an attempt by the regime to distract the Sudanese people from their battle for freedom and democracy.

Prior to Bashir’s arrival in the While Nile State, and due to the country’s deteriorating security situation, he was advised by security to delay the visit but he insisted on going anyway.

Bashir insists he only visited the state due to the “welcoming crowds that lined up along the streets to greet him as he arrived”, claiming that if he hadn’t received their support he had intended on stepping down – even though he has repeatedly vowed not to hand over power which is a key demand of the protesters.

The protests erupted on 19 December over rising prices of basic commodities such as bread as the North African country’s economy continues to decline.

African News Agency (ANA)