World Press Photo 2020

General News Singles Winner

Protests in Sudan began in December 2018 and spread rapidly throughout the country. By April 2019, protesters were staging a sit-in close to army headquarters in the capital Khartoum, and demanding an end to the 30-year rule of dictator Omar al-Bashir.

On April 11, al-Bashir was removed from office in a military coup, and a transitional military government was established. Protests continued, calling for power to be handed to civilian groups. On June 3, government forces opened fire on unarmed protesters. Scores of people were killed and many more subject to further violence.

Three days later, the African Union suspended Sudan in the midst of widespread international condemnation of the attack. The authorities sought to defuse protests by imposing blackouts and shutting down the Internet. Protesters communicated by text message, word of mouth and using megaphones, and resistance to military rule continued. Despite another severe crackdown on June 30, the pro-democracy movement was eventually successful in signing a power-sharing agreement with the military on Aug 17.

A young man, illuminated by mobile phones, reciting protest poetry while demonstrators chant slogans calling for civilian rule, during a blackout in Khartoum, Sudan, on June 19, 2019. PHOTO: © YASUYOSHI CHIBA, JAPAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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