Seven people killed, 181 wounded in fresh protests – Sudan unrest

The deaths and injuries reported by the state news agency occurred as tens of thousands of people protested against the ruling generals.

At least seven people were killed and 181 were wounded during a day of protests across Sudan, state news agency (SUNA) said late on Sunday, citing a health ministry official.

The protests on Sunday were the largest since a deadly raid by security forces on a protest camp outside the defence ministry three weeks ago.

At least five dead as thousands protest army rule

Five protesters were killed on Sunday during mass demonstrations that rocked the country as tens of thousands of people protested against the ruling generals, a doctors committee linked to the protest movement said.

“The death of four martyrs in the city of Omdurman on the road of our victorious revolution brings the number of martyrs to five” in Sunday’s protests, the committee said, after it reported earlier that a protester was shot dead in the town of Atbara.

“There are several seriously wounded by the bullets of the military council militias in hospitals of the capital and the provinces,” it added.

Tear gas fired as students protest near palace

Security forces fired tear gas to disperse dozens of students demonstrating against the ruling military council at a financial academy in the heart of Sudan’s capital Khartoum on Thursday, witnesses said.

Dozens of lawyers also gathered outside the main courthouse complex in Omdurman, Khartoum’s twin city, calling for civilian rule and for people to join mass demonstrations planned for Sunday. 

They chanted: “Freedom, peace, and justice. Civilian (rule) is the people’s choice.”

UN puts brakes on peacekeepers’ pullout from Darfur

The UN Security Council voted unanimously to put the brakes on the withdrawal of the joint UN-African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur region as the country deals with a political crisis.

The council approved a resolution to extend the current mandate of the force, known as UNAMID, for four months until October 31.

It asked Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to provide an update in 60 days on the situation on the ground — and it asks the UN and AU to make recommendations by September 30 on what the council should do about continuing the withdrawal.

Monday, June 24

Sudan must allow monitors access – UN rights chief

Sudanese authorities must grant human rights monitors access to the country and end “repression” against protesters and the shutdown of the Internet, UN human rights boss Michelle Bachelet said on Monday.

Bachelet, in a speech opening a three-week session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, said that her office had reports that more than 100 protesters were killed and many more injured during an assault by security forces on a peaceful sit-in on June 3. 

“Hundreds of protesters may be missing,” she said. 

Sunday, June 23

Ethiopia, AU mediation needs to be unified – Sudan military

Sudan’s army rulers appealed to the African Union and Ethiopia to unify their efforts in outlining a blueprint for a political transition in the crisis-hit country.

The generals, who seized power after ousting president Omar al Bashir in April, expressed reservations about an Ethiopian proposal that, according to protest leaders, calls for a civilian-majority ruling body.

Sunday’s call by the ruling generals comes after the mediators met the military council’s chief General Abdel Fattah al Burhan on Sunday.

“He (Burhan) underlined that the mediators’ efforts should focus on preparing a joint proposal,” the council’s spokesman General Shamseddine Kabbashi told a news conference.

He also criticised the Ethiopian mediator for the delays and for presenting a proposal “different” to the AU’s.

Sudan court orders company to end internet blackout – lawyer

A court ordered telecoms operator Zain Sudan to restore internet services, a lawyer said, after they were severed nearly three weeks ago when troops forcefully dispersed protesters camping in central Khartoum.

Abdel Adheem Hassan, a lawyer who filed his own case against Zain Sudan over the blackout, said the Khartoum District Court ordered Zain to “immediately restore internet services to the country”.

Sudanese courts do not confirm or deny their rulings to the media.

Zain Sudan, a subsidiary of Zain Kuwait and the largest operator in Sudan, was not immediately able to comment on the matter on Sunday.

Hassan said a Zain representative had told the court in response to the petition that the company had been ordered verbally by “high authorities” to cut the internet.

A source at Zain said the telecoms regulator had ordered the internet outage and demanded that they be added as a party to the case in an appeal.

Saturday, June 22

Protesters accept Ethiopia plan

Sudanese protest leaders said they accepted the creation of a civilian-majority governing body for a political transition in Sudan as proposed by an Ethiopian envoy. 

The ruling military council has yet to give its decision on the Ethiopian proposal. 

“We think that our acceptance of the proposal is a major leap towards meeting the goals of the revolution, which are freedom, peace and justice,” protest leader Babiker Faisal told reporters in a brief statement.

“It will put the country on the right track to create the transitional period that would usher in sustainable democracy.”

Thursday, June 20

Protests still continue in Sudan 

Hundreds of Sudanese demonstrated in state capitals, seeking to revive a push for civilian rule in ongoing tumult since the overthrow of Bashir more than two months ago.

There were gatherings in each of the state capitals of Wad Madani, Al Ubayyid and Port Sudan to call for the Transitional Military Council to relinquish power.

Dozens also demonstrated in the national capital Khartoum, including employees from the private Bank of Khartoum, the country’s largest, chanting “Civilian!” and waving Sudanese flags.

Sunday, June 16

Ex-leader appears in public for first time since ouster

Bashir appeared in public on Sunday for the first time since he was overthrown, as he was taken out of prison to the office of the anti-corruption prosecutor.

Bashir, wearing traditional white robes and turban, was driven in a Toyota Land Cruiser to the prosecutor’s office in Khartoum, a Reuters witness said.

The military overthrew and detained Bashir on April 11 after 16 weeks of street protests against his 30-year rule. He was being held in prison in Khartoum North, across the Blue Nile from the capital’s centre.

General to punish Khartoum killings perpetrators

A top Sudanese general vowed to send to the “gallows” those who carried out a deadly crackdown on a Khartoum sit-in earlier this month that left dozens of protesters dead and hundreds wounded.

“We are working hard to take those who did this to the gallows,” Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, deputy chief of the ruling military council said in a speech broadcast live on state television.

“Whoever committed any fault” will be held accountable, Dagalo added.

Saturday, June 15

Bashir to appear in court

Ousted Sudanese leader Bashir will appear in court next week to face charges of corruption and possessing foreign currency, the country’s acting prosecutor general told reporters on Saturday.

“Ousted president Omar al Bashir will appear in court next week following charges of corruption and possessing foreign currency,” Al Waleed Sayyed Ahmed said, without specifying the day.

Friday, June 14

Opposition, US seek investigations

Sudan’s veteran opposition leader Sadiq al Mahdi called on Friday for an “objective” international investigation into last week’s deadly crackdown on protesters, after the ruling military council rejected such a probe. 

Mahdi’s call was backed by top US envoy Tibor Nagy, who urged an “independent and credible” investigation into the June 3 killings. 

Mahdi, speaking after attending Friday prayers at a mosque in Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman, condemned the operation. 

“The protest’s dispersal was wrong. There should be an independent international investigation into it,” he told AFP. 

“It’s important that the probe is objective and not biased in favour of the authorities.”

Nagy, the US assistant secretary of state for Africa, also called for an investigation. 

“The USA believe very strongly there has to be an investigation which is independent and credible which will hold accountable those committing the egregious events,” he said in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, after a two-day visit to Khartoum.

Thursday, June 13

Military rejected negotiations proposal from Ethiopian PM

Sudan’s military rulers said on Thursday that Ethiopia’s prime minister had suggested that negotiations between the rulers and the Sudanese opposition on a transition to democracy move to Addis Ababa.

The Transitional Military Council rejected that proposal, the council’s spokesman said.

‘Several coup attempts thwarted’

Sudan’s military rulers said they had thwarted several coup attempts and that some officers had been arrested over the deadly dispersal of protesters at a sit-in in Khartoum earlier this month.

Two different groups of people suspected of involvement in the attempted coups had been arrested, the Transitional Military Council’s spokesman said. One group consisted of five individuals while the other had more than 12 members, he said.

The council itself took power in a coup on April 11 when military officials ousted and detained former President Bashir after months of protests against his 30-year autocratic rule.

Sudan military admits dispersing sit-in

Sudan’s ruling military council for the first time admitted it dispersed a Khartoum sit-in, which left dozens dead, as US and African diplomats stepped up efforts for a solution to the country’s political crisis.

The military council had “decided to disperse the sit-in”, said spokesman Kabbashi.

“We ordered the commanders to come up with a plan to disperse this sit-in. They made a plan and implemented it … but we regret that some mistakes happened.”

He said the findings of an investigation into the incident would be released on Saturday.

Sudan charges ousted leader Bashir with corruption

Sudan’s state prosecutor’s office said that Bashir had been charged with corruption after the completion of an investigation.

The charges were related to laws on “suspected illicit wealth and emergency orders”, the public prosecutor’s office said without giving more details.

It has not been possible to get a comment from Bashir since his ousting.

UN says it confirms 17 deaths in Sudan’s Darfur

The United Nations said it had confirmed the killing of 17 people and the burning of more than 100 houses in Deleij village in the Darfur region of Sudan earlier this week.

The United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur also said 15 people were injured and the violence “occurred during heated clashes between nomads and residents apparently angered by the increase in commodity prices at the local market”.

Opposition medics said “Janjaweed militias” fired live ammunition at civilians on Monday at a market in Deleij, Central Darfur, killing 11 people and wounding 20 others.

The Janjaweed are Arab militias who have been accused of committing atrocities in Darfur, in the west of Sudan, during a civil conflict that started in 2003 and, according to UN estimates, has killed up to 300,000 people and displaced 2.7 million.

Wednesday, June 12

US joins diplomatic push to salvage agreement in Sudan

The United States named a special envoy to Sudan to find a “peaceful” solution between demonstrators and generals, as protest leaders demanded “international guarantees” for implementing any agreement reached with the army rulers.

Diplomatic efforts to resolve the – triggered by the June 3 crackdown on protesters – got a boost as Washington nominated experienced Africa hand Donald Booth as a special envoy to Sudan to help craft a “peaceful political solution” between the generals and protesters.

Booth, who previously has served as special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, was already in Khartoum along with Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Affairs Tibor Nagy to “engage with the parties,” State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said.

Late on Wednesday protest leader Madani Abbas Madani told reporters that “any agreement (reached with generals) must have regional and international guarantees” for implementing it. He did not elaborate.

Independent investigation needed – UN rights experts

UN rights experts called for the Human Rights Council to set up a probe into possible violations committed by Sudan’s security forces against “peaceful protesters”.

Sudan is “sliding into a human rights abyss,” a group of five United Nations experts said in a joint statement.

The experts called for an “independent investigation” to be set up by the UN Human Rights Council, which opens a new session on June 24.

The signatories of the statement include Aristide Nononsi, who focuses on human rights in Sudan, as well as the special rapporteur on the right to peaceful assembly, Clement Nyaletsossi Voule, and Agnes Callamard, the rapporteur on extrajudicial or summary executions.

UN human rights experts are independent specialists who do not speak for the world body.

Khartoum resumes activities but residents wary

Shops began to reopen in Sudan’s capital but many residents stayed indoors after demonstrators called off a nationwide civil disobedience campaign that had brought Khartoum to a standstill.

The slow return to normalcy came after an Ethiopian mediator announced that the protest leaders and the ruling military council had agreed to resume talks following a deadly crackdown on a weeks-long sit-in.

The negotiations collapsed last month because the two sides disagreed about whether a civilian or soldier should head a new governing body.

Tuesday, June 11

UN Security Council strongly condemns Sudan violence

The UN Security Council on Tuesday strongly condemned recent violence in Sudan and called on Khartoum’s military rulers and protest movement to work toward a solution to the crisis.

In a unanimous statement, the council called for an immediate halt to the violence against civilians and stressed the importance of upholding human rights.

Sudanese militia kills 9 people in Darfur village – doctors

A Sudanese militia has shot dead nine people in a village of the war-torn region of Darfur, a doctors committee linked to the country’s protest movement said.

The “massacre” was carried out on Monday by the Janjaweed in Al Dalij in Central Darfur state, the committee said on its Facebook page.

The Janjaweed, a militia accused by rights groups of widespread abuses in the Darfur region, have been absorbed in Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

“Yesterday, they fired live ammunition on citizens in the souk of Dalij,” the doctors’ committee said.

“Following the systematic massacre, the doctors in the area of Dalij received 11 dead and 20 wounded.”

“The doctors confirmed that nine citizens were killed by bullets and sticks of the Janjaweed. However, the cause of death of the other two or who they were was unclear,” the committee said.

Protesters, military rulers to resume talks – Ethiopian envoy

Protest leaders have agreed to end their civil disobedience campaign launched after a crackdown on demonstrators and resume talks with Sudan’s ruling generals, an Ethiopian mediator said on Tuesday.

“The Alliance for Freedom and Change agreed to end the civil disobedience (campaign) from today,” Mahmoud Drir, who has been mediating since a visit by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed last week, told reporters.

“Both sides have also agreed to resume talks soon” on a handover of power to a civilian administration, he said.

The protest movement itself said in a statement that it was calling on people “to resume work from Wednesday.”

Sudan’s military council also agreed to release political prisoners as a confidence-building measure, Dirir said.

Monday, June 10

Top US envoy heads to Sudan to call for halt to attacks on civilians

A top US diplomat will head to Sudan this week to urge an end to a bloody crackdown on protesters, Washington said Monday, as a nationwide civil disobedience campaign challenged the African country’s ruling military council.

Tibor Nagy, the US assistant secretary of state for African affairs, plans to meet both members of the military leadership and protest leaders in Khartoum, the State Department said.

He is to leave on the trip on Wednesday and also visit Ethiopia to discuss the Sudan crisis with the regional power as well as the African Union.

“He will call for a cessation of attacks against civilians and urge parties to work toward creating an enabling environment” for talks to resume, the State Department statement said.

Sudanese rebel chief expelled from country

A Sudanese rebel chief said Monday he was deported from Khartoum to South Sudan with two comrades hours after authorities claimed to have released the three men from detention.

“I was deported against my will… I have not been released; I have been deported from my country,” Yasir Arman, deputy chief of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), told AFP at a hotel in South Sudan’s capital Juba.

Sudanese state television reported earlier on Monday that Arman –– together with fellow leading rebels Ismail Jalab and Mubarak Ardol –– had been released from custody.

A statement from SPLM-N chairman Malik Agar said the three officials had been “denied access their accommodation” and deported in a military plane to Juba, South Sudan’s capital.

Sudan‘s military blames protest leaders for escalation

Sudan’s ruling military blamed the country’s protest movement for an escalation as the second day of the opposition’s general strike kicked in on Monday in the protesters latest bid to pressure the army to hand over power to civilian rule.

For the second day, shops and businesses were closed in the capital, Khartoum, though there was visibly more traffic in the streets than on Sunday, when the strike began.

But the military’s latest harsh words — describing actions by the protest movement as doing major harm to Sudan and its security — reflected that th e ruling generals are hardening their stance.

TMC to ‘enhance’ presence of armed forces in streets

Lieutenant General Jamaleddine Omar of Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC) said that the ruling council “has decided to enhance the presence of the armed force – Rapid Support Forces and other regular forces – to restore life back to normal…”

Omar claimed that protestors were barricading roads, which was a “complete crime” that was “infringing the freedom of the citizens.”

The Sudan Doctors’ Committee, the medical affiliate of the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), says 118 people have been killed since June 3.

The military-run Health Ministry has offered a lower death toll of 61, including 49 civilians and three security forces in Khartoum.

Sunday, June 9

At least four people killed

Four people were killed in Sudan on Sunday on the first day of a “civil disobedience” campaign by protesters, a doctors’ committee linked to demonstrators said.

Two people were shot dead in the capital Khartoum and its twin city of Omdurman just across the Nile river, the Central Committee for Sudanese Doctors (CCSD) said, adding two others died in a hospital in Omdurman after being stabbed.

Protesters launch general strike after crackdown

Sudanese police fired warning shots on Sunday to disperse protesters building roadblocks in the capital, as part of a civil disobedience campaign against the ruling generals following a bloody crackdown that left dozens dead.

Protesters set about building roadblocks in Khartoum while markets and shops were closed in several other towns and cities. People gathered tyres, tree trunks and rocks to build new roadblocks in the capital’s northern Bahari district.

But riot police swiftly moved in, firing gunshots in the air and tear gas at demonstrators before clearing the makeshift barriers, a witness said.

Several vehicles of the feared RSF, blamed by witnesses for the killings during the crackdown, were seen Sunday moving across some parts of the capital loaded with machine guns.

Saturday, June 8

Opposition calls for civil disobedience

A key protest group on Saturday announced a nationwide “civil disobedience” campaign it said would run until Sudan’s ruling generals transfer power to a civilian government. 

The call by the SPA, which first launched protests against longtime ruler Bashir, came days after a bloody crackdown on demonstrators left dozens dead in Khartoum and crushed hopes for a swift democratic transition.

“The civil disobedience movement will begin Sunday and end only when a civilian government announces itself in power on state television,” the SPA said in a statement. 

“Disobedience is a peaceful act capable of bringing to its knees the most powerful weapons arsenal in the world.” 

It was still unclear how the campaign would unfold on the streets, especially in Khartoum where all key roads and squares have been deserted since Monday’s crackdown.

Ethiopian PM offers plan for new transitional council

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has proposed setting up a new transitional council in which civilians would be in the majority, the opposition leaders said on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the TMC thanked Ethiopia for its mediation efforts, state news agency SUNA said.

The TMC expressed its “openness and keenness to negotiate to reach satisfactory understandings that will lead to a national consensus…, leading to the establishment of a democratic transition,” SUNA said.

Abiy had on Friday urged Sudan’s military rulers and civilian opposition to exercise “bravery” in trying to agree steps towards democracy after the worst bloodshed since the overthrow in April of President Bashir.

While no breakthrough was announced at the end of Abiy’s one-day visit, an aide to the Ethiopian prime minister said the talks went well and that Abiy would be returning to Sudan soon.

Forces arrest protest leaders who met Ethiopia PM

Sudanese security forces arrested two prominent rebels and an opposition leader, a day after they met the Ethiopian premier during his reconciliation mission to Khartoum, their aides said on Saturday.

Prime Minister Abiy, who has emerged as a key regional leader, met representatives of both sides on Friday in a bid to revive talks between Sudan’s ruling generals and protest leaders after a deadly crackdown left dozens of people dead in the capital this week.

Among the protest movement delegates he met were opposition politician Mohamed Esmat and a leader of the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), Ismail Jalab.

Sudanese security forces later arrested both men without giving any reason, their aides told AFP on Saturday. Esmat was arrested on Friday soon after his meeting with Abiy. Jalab was arrested from his residence early on Saturday.

Friday, June 7

Opposition accepts Ethiopian PM as mediator

Sudan’s opposition says it accepts Abiy as mediator between military rulers and opposition under certain conditions.

The statement comes after the visiting Ethiopian premier held talks with the members of Sudan’s opposition Forces for Freedom and Change in the capital Khartoum.

Ahmed seeks ‘quick’ democratic transition

Ethiopian PM Abiy called for a “quick” democratic transition in Sudan on Friday after talks in Khartoum with the country’s protest leaders and ruling generals.

“The army, the people and political forces have to act with courage and responsibility by taking quick steps towards a democratic and consensual transitional period,” he said in a statement, during a visit to revive talks between the two sides after a deadly crackdown by security forces on demonstrators.

Ethiopia‘s PM meets opposition 

Abiy met and held talks on Friday with members of Sudan’s opposition Forces for Freedom and Change, his office said in a tweet.

“He expressed Ethiopia’s commitment to fostering peace in the region and underlined that a prerequisite for restoring peace in Sudan is unity,” Abiy’s office said.

Earlier on Friday, Abiy’s office said he met the chief of Sudan’s ruling military council in a bid to ease the political crisis.

 

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