Civilian Protests Lead to Violence in Sudan

Civilians protest outside the military headquarters in Sudan’s Khartoum. Civilians protest outside the military headquarters in Sudan’s Khartoum. AFP 2019

5 June 2019

On Sunday, Sudan’s pro-democracy movement began a period of civil disobedience, following attacks in Khartoum

The violence in the capital city of Khartoum took place at a protest camp, as civilians staged sit-ins in front of the military headquarters calling for the return of a civil state. The protests were organized by the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) after several key opposition leaders were arrested by security forces.

Civilian protestors were subjected to tear gas and gunfire, while tents in the camps were burned down by soldiers and other paramilitary groups. The death toll is estimated to be 118, since security forces first started conflict with the protestors on the third of June. Dozens more were injured.

Struggles between the protestors and Sudan’s ruling military council have heightened as a result of the ousting of former leader Omar al-Bashir in April. The arrested opposition leaders were taken to undisclosed locations and are conducting further military raids and intentional roadblocks that prevented other civilians from moving freely throughout Khartoum. Private and public medical centers were also shut down preventing civilian victims from necessary care. While the military council has all its agreements with the protest leaders, the protestors are still calling for the transition away from Bashir’s reign and to a new civilian government.

Human rights watchdogs, such as the United Nations stand in solidarity with the protestors. “Once again, we call on the authorities to ensure a prompt, independent investigation into the use of excessive force against protest camps,” said UN spokesperson Rupert Colville. “Accountability is crucial to avoid further bloodshed. We stress the need for a swift transition to a civilian administration.” In addition, the head United States diplomat for Africa is scheduled to visit Sudan to speak with the Transitional Military Council and the civilian opposition to work toward compromise. The civilian opposition plans to nominate members to their own transitional council and name their own government leader.


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Author: Christina Borst; Editor: Aleksandra Krol


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