Sudan gripped again by a day of anti-al-Bashir protests

Sudan gripped again by a day of anti-al-Bashir protests
In this handout photo from Qatar News Agency, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, center left, meets with with Qatar's ruling emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, in Doha Qatar, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. Sudan's embattled president is in Qatar looking for support amid weekslong protests against his 29-year rule in the African nation. The two men are expected to discuss possible aid to Sudan, which is suffering from deep economic problems that sparked the protests. (Qatar News Agency via AP)

CAIRO (AP) — Video clips circulating online show thousands of people out at several locations in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, calling on the country’s longtime ruler to step down.

Thursday’s demonstrations are the latest in the unrest that began Dec. 19 across most of Sudan, first to protest worsening economic conditions but soon to demand an end to Omar al-Bashir’s 29-year rule.

The latest demonstrations began in residential neighborhoods, a departure from gathering at central Khartoum as was the case over the past weeks. In response, security forces sealed off the city’s main roads, keeping the protesters on side streets.

Activists say protesters chanted what has become the uprising’s main slogan — “Just leave!” — as well as “Freedom, peace and justice.”

Al-Bashir says change could only come through the ballot box.