Relatives have also been threatened to silence alleged leaks. A source said the authorities are “harassing us, harassing the people we love and desperately looking for leaders. That’s a clear message. The authorities are afraid and are reacting in the only way they know how: with violence.”
The investigation, based on multiple interviews with senior Sudanese and US officials and documents reviewed by CNN, painted a picture of an elaborate, years-long Russian plan to plunder Sudan’s riches in a bid to bolster Russia against ever-tightening Western sanctions and Moscow’s to support war effort in Ukraine.
Evidence uncovered by CNN also suggests that Russia colluded with the Sudanese military leadership, bypassing billions of dollars in gold from the Sudanese state and robbing the poverty-stricken nation of hundreds of millions in government revenues.
Clashes erupted on Sunday after hundreds of protesters tried to get to the Republican Palace – the offices of the Sudanese president – but were met by police, who responded with tear gas at the protesters.
The video shows protesters chanting slogans against the military that toppled a civilian transitional government in 2021 and dealt a crushing blow to the Sudanese pro-democracy movement that toppled President Omar al-Bashir two years earlier.
Authorities closed the main bridge Mek Nimr, which connects downtown Khartoum and northern Khartoum.
On Friday, Sudanese pro-democracy groups, including the influential Revolutionary Committees, called for a “Million Man March” for the following day.
Evidence viewed by CNN also suggests that Russia colluded with Sudan’s besieged military leadership, enabling billions of dollars in gold to bypass the Sudanese state and siphon hundreds of millions in government revenue from the poverty-stricken country.
The investigation was widely publicized in Sudan and sparked a public outcry. Hours after the report aired, posts used by pro-democracy activists began circulating on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.
“The investigation conducted by CNN is extremely important to us. She examined the crucial issue of resource conflict, which is particularly important in a poor country like Sudan,” said Mohamed Al-Faki Suleiman, a leading Sudanese pro-democracy figure and former actor head of the civilian anti-corruption committee, told CNN.
“This is the result of the lack of control of the civil authorities over the security services, particularly the police and security agencies, and therefore we have not been able to assert our control over the smuggling process,” Suleiman said.
On Saturday, Mubarak Ardol, head of Sudan’s national mining company, criticized the survey on Twitter, calling it “weak and inaccurate” and its figures “exaggerated and conceited”.
CNN has reached out to Sudan’s military rulers but has received no response.