Sudan's ongoing anti-government protests have led to a continued and tragic spate of loss of lives. The country's president, Omar al-Bashir, has put the blame on "infiltrators" and "saboteurs" whom he says are responsible for the deaths stemming from these bloody protests.
Bashir also claimed that the weapons used do not belong to the police nor the soldiers, and they do not even exist in Sudan. Protests have been bloody in Sudan, with the Sudanese officials putting the death toll at 24. However, the opposition puts the figure at 50, and Amnesty International is supporting a higher figure than the one put by the government.
In a speech delivered by Bashir, he promised to respect the will of the people ahead of the 2020 elections.
The president said that his forces had arrested men who confessed that they "were instructed to infiltrate the protests and kill the protesters in order to fuel the conflict, instigate sedition, and destroy the country."
"The Sudanese people decide who rules them," he told hundreds of his supporters at Al-Kireida area in White Nile State, some 392 km south-west of the capital Khartoum. "This decision is made through the ballot boxes. 2020 is not far. We have a year until then. After a year, the Sudanese people will decide who will rule them."
Bashir added: "We stand by the choice of the Sudanese people. We respect people's choice. We gave power to citizens to choose their ... MPs and their government ... through free elections."
Last week, a doctor and a teenager were killed during the protests. Abdel Hamid, the doctor, was shot in the head as he was "resuscitating other protesters". Bashir said: "The doctor of Burri neighbourhood was killed from within the protest by a weapon that is neither held by the army and police nor does it exist in Sudan."
The protests in Sudan started off as protests against the increase of bread prices, but they have morphed into a clear message demanding the stepping down of Omar al-Bashir.
Sudan is plagued by a myriad of economic woes, where corruption takes center-stage, while the citizens are suffering from abject poverty.
Header image credit: CNN