What is happening in Sudan?

Last updated at 17:13
Sudan:Getty Images

The Republic of Sudan, a country in northeast Africa, is in the middle of a political crisis.

In the past few weeks, protests in the capital city of Khartoum have turned violent and it has been reported that dozens of people have been killed.

Human rights charity Amnesty International say they have evidence that the Sudanese government military forces are committing serious crimes against the protesters.

Read Newsround's guide to find out what's happening in Sudan.

Why did the protests begin?
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir addresses parliament in the capital Khartoum on 1 April 2019, in his first such speech after imposing a national state of emergency across on 22 February.AFP
President Omar al-Bashir was kicked out of power in April

In December 2018, the government increased the prices of everyday items like bread and fuel in order to stop the country's economy getting worse.

In response to this, protestors took to the streets in order to send a message that they wanted Sudan's long-term leader Omar al-Bashir to step down or be removed from power.

The rallies reached a turning point in April 2019, when demonstrators took over the town square in front of the military's headquarters to demand that the army force the president out.

Five days later, it was announced that the president had been overthrown. Mr al-Bashir has been held under high-level security ever since.

Who's in charge of Sudan now?
Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman BurhanAFP / Getty Images
Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan is currently in charge of Sudan

Since April this year, when President Omar al-Bashir was removed from power, Sudan has been ruled by a military council.

The Transitional Military Council (TMC) is led by Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan.

The council says it needs to be in charge to keep order and security in Sudan.

Who are the protesters and what do they want?
Sudan:Getty Images

The protesters are largely led by professional workers organisations. They are every day Sudanese citizens, including doctors, health workers and lawyers.

Many young women have also been leading the chants and demonstrations in the capital city, Khartoum.

They want the military council to transfer power to a full civilian government - much like here in the UK where the politicians, who make laws, are chosen by the public in democratic votes.

Representatives of the protesters had been in talks with the military over who would take control following the ousting of long-time President Omar al-Bashir.

But negotiations collapsed when a military crackdown on 3 June left dozens of protesters dead.

What happened to the protestors in Sudan?
Sudan:Getty Images

During action against demonstrators on 3 June, experts say the military council used "brutal violence" and tear gas - with many people being killed and injured.

In response, the TMC said they felt "sorrow for the way events escalated", saying that the operation had targeted "trouble makers and petty criminals".

It's not known how many people exactly have been killed - the demonstrators say it is as many as 100 but the military say it is 46.

The authorities have introduced emergency laws and a night-time curfew - which means people must be in their homes and not leave after a certain time at night.

Classes have been suspended at schools and universities across much of the country.

How have other countries responded?
Sudanese protesters wave flags and flash victory signs as they gather for a sit-in outside the military headquarterGetty Images
The military and protesters have been negotiating over the country's future

Most African and western countries have backed the protesters.

The US called it a "brutal attack" and the UK said the military council held "full responsibility".

Saudi Arabia has pushed for discussions between the two sides, but not directly criticised military violence.

Along with United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt, it perhaps fears the protests could inspire similar events to take place in their own countries.