Hundreds of supporters of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir gathered in Khartoum on Wednesday to support a regime that has been heavily contested in recent weeks, AFP reported.
Meanwhile, another round of opposition to Bashir is scheduled to take place on Wednesday in the streets of the capital.
The rally in support of Bashir, comes after the president accused Tuesday “conspirators” to have provoked the violence that sparked anti-government protests triggered December 19 by rising prices of bread.
Hundreds of riot police, soldiers, security guards, some armed with assault rifles, were deployed around pro-Bashir protesters, an AFP journalist said.
Men, women, children, wearing banners of support to Mr. Bashir, arrived Wednesday morning by bus.
Since December 19, protests against the high cost of living and shortages have quickly turned into a movement against the Bashir regime, which seized power in 1989 by a coup supported by Islamists.
Sudan’s economic situation is notably reflected in low foreign exchange reserves and 70% inflation.
The demonstrations began in several towns and villages before moving to the capital Khartoum, several buildings and offices of the National Congress party (NCP) of Mr. Bashir were set on fire.
At least 19 people, including two members of the security forces, were killed according to the authorities. Amnesty International has reported the death of 37 protesters and the UN has called for an independent investigation.
On Tuesday, Bashir told soldiers on a base near the town of Atbara where the first demonstration took place in December: “It was those who plotted against us and introduced traitors among us who caused fires. and caused damage “during the demonstrations.
More than 800 protesters have been arrested since the start of the protest, according to the authorities.
Britain, Norway, the United States and Canada said they were “dismayed by reports of deaths and serious injuries” and by “the use of live ammunition against protesters”.
In a joint statement, they urged Khartoum to ensure that “an independent and transparent investigation into the death of protesters is conducted as soon as possible, and that those responsible are accountable”.