Thousands in Sudan call for end to military rule, protest gold mining after CNN investigation

Clashes erupted after hundreds of protesters tried to march towards the Republican Palace – Sudan’s presidential offices – but were met by police, who responded by firing tear gas at the protesters.

The video shows protesters chanting slogans against the army, which overthrew a transitional civilian government in 2021, dealing a devastating blow to the Sudanese pro-democracy movement that toppled President Omar al-Bashir two years earlier.

Authorities have closed the main Mek Nimr bridge, which connects downtown Khartoum and Khartoum North.

On Friday, Sudanese pro-democracy groups, including the influential “revolutionary committees”, had called for a “million-man march” the following day.

The protests come after a CNN investigation uncovered evidence of a gold mining operation diverting Sudanese wealth to Russia while evading US sanctions and colluding with Sudan’s military rulers.

The investigation, based on multiple interviews with high-level Sudanese and U.S. officials and a wealth of documents reviewed by CNN, painted the picture of an elaborate Russian scheme to plunder Sudan’s wealth in an effort to fortify Russia against increasingly severe Western sanctions and to strengthen Moscow’s positions. war effort in Ukraine.

Evidence seen by CNN also suggests that Russia colluded with Sudan’s embattled military rulers, allowing billions of dollars in gold to bypass the Sudanese state and rob the poverty-stricken country of hundreds of millions of revenue. of State.

The investigation was widely shared in Sudan and caused a public outcry. Hours after the report was released, messages began circulating on WhatsApp and other social media platforms used by pro-democracy activists.

Pro-democracy protesters in the streets of Khartoum on Sunday July 31, 2022.

“The investigation conducted by CNN is extremely important for us. It looked at the crucial issue of conflict over resources, particularly important in a poor country like Sudan,” said Mohamed Al-Faki Suleiman, a pro figure. -Sudanese Democratic and Acting Former. head of the civil anti-corruption committee, told CNN.

Russia plunders gold from Sudan to boost Putin's war effort in Ukraine

“This is the result of the lack of control of the civil authorities over the security services, in particular the police and security agencies, and therefore we have not been able to impose our control over the smuggling process” , Suleiman said.

On Saturday, the head of Sudan’s national mining company, Mubarak Ardol, criticized the survey on Twitter, calling it “weak and imprecise” and its figures “exaggerated and imaginary”.

CNN contacted Sudan’s military leadership but did not receive a response.

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