Family members were also threatened in an effort to silence suspected leakers. A source said the authorities “harassed us, harassed the people we love, were desperate for leaders. It’s a clear message. The authorities are afraid and are responding in the only way they know: by force. ”
The investigation, based on multiple interviews with senior Sudanese and US officials and a wealth of documents reviewed by CNN, painted a picture of an elaborate, years-long Russian plan to loot Sudan’s resources in an effort to fortify Russia against increasingly tougher Western sanctions and the Russian government. war effort in Ukraine.
The evidence revealed by CNN also suggests that Russia colluded with Sudan’s military leadership, allowing billions of dollars in gold to bypass the Sudanese state and deprive the penniless nation of hundreds of millions in state revenue.
Clashes broke out on Sunday after hundreds of protesters tried to enter the Republican Palace, Sudan’s presidential offices, but were met by police, who responded by firing tear gas at the protesters.
Video shows protesters chanting slogans against the military, which overthrew a civilian transitional government in 2021 and dealt 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 central Khartoum and Khartoum North.
On Friday, Sudanese pro-democracy groups, including the influential ‘Revolutionary Committees’, had called for a ‘march of millions’ the following day.
Evidence seen by CNN also suggests that Russia colluded with Sudan’s beleaguered military leadership, allowing billions of dollars in gold to bypass the Sudanese state and deprive the poverty-stricken country hundreds of millions in state revenue.
The investigation was widely shared in Sudan and caused public outcry. Hours after the report aired, messages began circulating on WhatsApp and other social media platforms used by pro-democracy activists.
“CNN’s research is extremely important to us. It examined the critical issue of the resource conflict, especially important in a poor country like Sudan,” Mohamed Al-Faki Suleiman, a leading Sudanese pro-democracy figure and former acting head of the Civilian Anti-Corruption Commission, told CNN.
“This is a result of the civil authority’s lack of control over the security forces, especially the police and security forces, and therefore we were unable 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 inaccurate” and the numbers “exaggerated and imaginary”.
CNN has contacted Sudan’s military rulers but has received no response.