Sudan Crisis: 5 Protesters Killed in ‘Million March’ against Military Rule
By Staff, Agencies
Five protesters were killed Sunday during mass demonstrations that rocked Sudan as tens of thousands of people protested against the ruling generals, a doctors committee linked to the protest movement said.
“There are several seriously wounded by the bullets of the military council militias in hospitals of the capital and the provinces,” the committee said, after it reported earlier that a protester had been shot dead in the town of Atbara.
Thousands of protesters marched toward Sudan’s Defense Ministry as security forces fired shots into the air.
Huge crowds also took to the streets in other parts of the capital and met barrages of tear gas in two areas less than 2 kilometers from the presidential palace and in the upscale neighborhood of Riad, east Khartoum, witnesses said.
Sudan’s military overthrew President Omar al-Bashir on April 11 after months of protests against his rule.
Opposition groups kept up those demonstrations as they pressed the military to hand over to civilians, but talks broke down after security services raided a sit-in protest outside the Defense Ministry on June 3.
The Forces for Freedom and Change opposition coalition called for a million people to turn out Sunday, the 30th anniversary of the 1989 coup that brought Bashir to power, and the African Union’s deadline for the military rulers to hand over to civilians or face further sanctions.
A senior member of Sudan’s military leadership said unidentified snipers had shot at three paramilitary soldiers and at least six demonstrators Sunday. Gen. Mohammad Hamdan Dagalo, the deputy head of the Transitional Military Council, did not say whether anyone died and gave no more information during his short address on state TV. His report was not confirmed by other groups.
In another part of Khartoum, thousands blocked the main highway that leads to the airport as they marched toward the house of a protester who was killed in January. “We came out once again for the revolution and we will not retreat until they hand over power to a civilian authority,” protester Hasan Ahmad told Reuters. The TMC warned a day earlier that the coalition would bear the responsibility for any loss of life or damage resulting from the rallies.
Members of one of the main opposition groups, the Sudanese Professionals’ Association, said security services raided its headquarters Saturday night as it was about to give a news conference.
The UN has said it has received reports that over 100 protesters were killed and many more wounded at the sit-in protest on June 3.
Military leaders have denied ordering a raid on the camp and said a crackdown on criminals nearby had spilled over to the sit-in.