Sudan: 35 killed as forces clear protest camp in capital

4th Jun 2019
Sudan: 35 killed as forces clear protest camp in capital

By Mohammed Amin

 

KHARTOUM, Sudan (AA): At least 35 demonstrators were killed and hundreds injured Monday as Sudanese security forces moved in to clear the main protest camp near the army headquarters in the capital, Khartoum.

The head of Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC) announced early Tuesday that elections will be held within nine months to resolve the crisis since the ouster of former President Omar Al-Bashir.

The latest figures were announced by protest organizers the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors.

Eyewitnesses said security forces used live ammunition and teargas to disperse the protesters, who have been camping out near the military headquarters since the ouster of long-serving President Omar al-Bashir in April.

“Militias belonging to the government have aggressively attacked thousands of civilians in the sit-in,” the Sudanese Professional Association (SPA) said in an earlier statement.

The Declaration of Freedom and Change alliance earlier said that 13 protesters had been killed and hundreds injured when security forces moved in to disperse the camp.

Opposition negotiator Abbas Medani was reportedly injured during the dispersal, according to eyewitnesses.

“We are holding the Transitional Military Council (TMC) responsible for what happened this morning,” the SPA said, calling on protesters “to join the sit-in to resist this attempt”.

The TMC dismissed their statement.

“We did not break up the sit-in by force,” spokesman Lieutenant General Shamseddine Kabbashi told Dubai-based Sky News Arabia.

“Youth are moving freely and there is no soldier in the protest camp area,” he said.

Kabbashi, however, said security forces only raided the “Colombia” area located below the iron bridge of Al-Nil Street in Khartoum, which he described as “dangerous”.

He expects talks between protest leaders and the TMC on the transition to civilian rule to resume Monday or Tuesday.

Addressing the nation on state television, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan said the TMC has also cancelled all previous agreements with the main opposition coalition and has suspended talks with them.

Al-Burhan pledged to hold a free and fair elections, adding the TMC will declare a temporary cabinet in the coming days.

The sit-in near the army headquarters has been the epicenter of protests demanding the TMC hand over power to a civilian government.

In early April, Sudan’s military establishment deposed al-Bashir following months of popular demonstrations against his 30-year rule.

The TMC is now overseeing a two-year transitional period during which it has pledged to hold presidential elections.

Demonstrators, however, have remained on the streets to demand that the TMC relinquish power at the earliest possible date to a civilian authority.

[Photo: Sudanese protesters burn tyres and set up barricades on roads to army headquarters after the intervention of Sudanese army, during a demonstration in Khartoum, Sudan on June 3, 2019.  Photographer: Stringer/AA]

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