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Sudan protest leaders urge people to remain in streets amid military coup, with 16 people killed in last few days

Sudanese protest leaders are urging people to remain in the streets of the capital Khartoum following the military coup even as activists say 16 people have been killed by the regime in the last few days.

The protesters marched for the introduction of the civilian rule rather than letting the military to rule the country after the army forced President Omar al-Bashir from power amid months of anti-government protests.

“We will never leave the place. We will shout together. We will shout to our freedom, to our liberty,” protester Rami Mustafa said Saturday.

“We will never leave the place. We will shout together. We will shout to our freedom, to our liberty.”

— Protester Rami Mustafa

The army said it wants to govern the country for two years and only then call an election for a new head of government, a plan that raised concerns among human rights experts and groups.

The demonstrators fear that the military, dominated by al-Bashir loyalists, won’t give up the power after two years or will hand it only to one of their own.

Sudanese activists say that 16 people, including a soldier, have been killed in the two days since the military coup.

Demonstrators gather in Sudan's capital of Khartoum, Friday, April 12, 2019. The Sudanese protest movement has rejected the military's declaration that it has no ambitions to hold the reins of power for long after ousting the president of 30 years, Omar al-Bashir.

Demonstrators gather in Sudan’s capital of Khartoum, Friday, April 12, 2019. The Sudanese protest movement has rejected the military’s declaration that it has no ambitions to hold the reins of power for long after ousting the president of 30 years, Omar al-Bashir. (AP Photo)

At least 13 people were shot dead on Thursday while another three people were killed on Friday, activists from the Sudan Doctors Committee said, claiming that the victims died “at the hands of regime forces and its shadow militias.”

Sudanese police confirmed the figure on Friday, though saying that the 16 people were killed by “stray bullets. At least 20 people were also wounded at rallies and sit-ins across the country.

The activist group said that at least 38 people, including at least six soldiers, have been killed since the protests began on April 6.

Demonstrators gather in Sudan's capital of Khartoum, Friday, April 12, 2019. The Sudanese protest movement has rejected the military's declaration that it has no ambitions to hold the reins of power for long after ousting the president of 30 years, Omar al-Bashir.

Demonstrators gather in Sudan’s capital of Khartoum, Friday, April 12, 2019. The Sudanese protest movement has rejected the military’s declaration that it has no ambitions to hold the reins of power for long after ousting the president of 30 years, Omar al-Bashir. (AP Photo)

Al-Bashir was ousted from power earlier this week following nearly four months of protests calling for an end to his nearly 30-year rule. The people at first protested against price hikes and shortages, but it quickly turned into a larger movement for Democracy and autocratic rule.

The ousted president is under house arrest and will be tried for unspecified crimes by Sudanese courts, the military said.

Al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for allegedly playing a role in a genocide linked to the war in Sudan’s Darfur region in the 2000s.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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