Over 30 killed after Sudanese paramilitaries violently disperse protest sit-in in Khartoum
Courtesy: Civil Disobedience in Sudan's Facebook page
 

Over 30 people have been killed since the violent dispersal of the protest sit-in outside the military headquarters in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum on Monday morning, according to statement released by the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors.

The violence began just after 5 am this morning when Rapid Support Forces and riot police attacked the sit-in, which was a major catalyst for the ouster of former President Omar al-Bashir on April 11. According to medical sources that spoke to Mada Masr, hundreds of people have been critically injured in the ensuing violence, which has continued throughout the day.

According to the doctors committee, information on the number of casualties remains provisional, as security forces have assaulted and arrested doctors both in medical facilities and in the streets of Khartoum.

Eyewitnesses and doctors have also told the committee that the bodies of some of those killed in the dispersal were thrown in the Nile River.

The site of the protest camp, which once housed tens of thousands of people, has largely been deserted, after the Rapid Support Forces — the paramilitary group linked to the Bashir regime’s war crimes and genocide in Darfur and whose head, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, is the deputy of the transitional military council — opened fire at protesters and set fire to tents this morning.

However, according to the medical sources, some of the injured protesters remain trapped in the sit-in area, as the Rapid Support Forces have prevented doctors from reaching them.

The forces also dispersed sit-ins in other Sudanese states, including Atbara, where the protests against Bashir’s 30-year rule broke out in December.

The Sudanese Professionals Association, one of the leading bodies of the opposition movement, called for a nationwide general strike and civil disobedience until the fall of the transitional military council. The association placed responsibility for the violent dispersal on the council, which has been in power since Bashir’s ouster, despite infighting within military and intelligence ranks during the handover.

In the face of ongoing attacks by the Rapid Support Forces, residents of Khartoum and other regions have responded to the call for a general strike and civil disobedience by blocking main streets with burning tires and large stones. Sudanese authorities have moved to disrupt internet access across the country, with users reporting widespread outages and the online censorship monitoring platform Netblocks reporting a partial block on at least two service providers.

Monday’s violence comes after negotiations between the transitional military council, headed by Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and representatives of the Freedom and Change Coalition, an umbrella of opposition forces steered by the Sudanese Professionals Association, stalled over the role of the military in Sudan’s transitional government.

The association announced that it will sever all political communications and negotiations with what it called the “coup council.”

“The council is no longer qualified to negotiate with the Sudanese people, and we hold the leaders and the members of this council criminally responsible for the bloodshed since April 11. We will work on bringing them to fair trials before fair courts in the victorious, revolutionary Sudan,” the association’s statement read.

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