Sudanese doctors went on strike as the army pledged its loyalty to President Umar al-Bashir amid some of the biggest anti-government protests in his rule.
At least eight people have been killed in demonstrations that have rocked the African nation’s cities since mid-last week, as discontent with an economic crisis and soaring living costs have developed into calls for al-Bashir, 74, to step down.
Doctors have said they’ll go on indefinite strike on Monday in a bid to “paralyse” the government. The army took the unusual step of issuing a statement describing its forces as disciplined and loyal to Sudan’s leaders.
The demonstrations, which come amid acute cash shortages and inflation of almost 70 percent, represent one of the most serious challenges to al-Bashir, 74, since he led an extremist-supported military coup to power in 1989. The African nation has faced sporadic protests ever since the secession of South Sudan in 2011, which deprived the government in Khartoum of three-quarters of the united country’s oil resources.
Protests by tens of thousands of people have taken place in 13 towns with nine people shot dead over the past two days by security forces, Amnesty International said.