Sudanese protesters took part in a rally against military rule on the anniversary of previous popular uprisings, in Khartoum, Sudan, May 12, 2022 MARWAN ALI AP KHARTOUM Security forces fired tear gas and stun grenades at demonstrators who rallied against Sudan's military rulers on Thursday, as diplomatic moves to broker a political solution to the post-coup crisis showed little progress.
Thousands marched towards the presidential palace in Khartoum, in the first major demonstration since the fasting month of Ramadan and the biggest turnout for several weeks, amid high temperatures and a heavy security presence.
Crowds in the capital and others filmed in other cities on social media could be heard chanting Kill us, we're not afraid, and The people's government is civilian. READ MORE: Rising hunger looms in Sudan, with little aid in sight.
Sudan has been in political turmoil since mass demonstrations pushed the military into overthrowing former president Omar al-Bashir in April 2019.
After more rallies, the army agreed to share power with civilian groups, but then took over again in a coup in October 2021.
Since then, civilian parties, including resistance committees organizing the protests, have rejected negotiations with the military. Military leaders have looked to factions that were close to Bashir to try to build a political base.
Talks organized by the United Nations and the African Union that were scheduled to launch this week have stumbled, amid heavy criticism from parts of the military and civil society.
On Wednesday, Khartoum resistance committees signed a charter setting out their vision for ending military rule, inviting political parties to join.
After the signing of the charter, we are more optimistic," said 38-year-old protester Ahmed Fathalrahman.
This May 12, 2022 photo shows protesters in a rally against military rule on the anniversary of previous popular uprisings in Khartoum. MARWAN ALI AP At the beginning of the protest, a Reuters witness saw heavy deployment of the army, police and the Central Reserve Forces that the United States imposed sanctions on along the protest route and residential areas.
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At least 95 people have been killed and thousands injured in protests since the coup, according to medics. Hundreds of political prisoners are still in detention, according to lawyers.
Military leaders say that the deaths will be investigated, that those detained face criminal charges and that the coup was a corrective to political infighting.