Six Sudanese protesters killed after troops open fire on Khartoum sit-in

Six Sudanese protesters killed after troops open fire on Khartoum sit-in
Sudanese security forces have fired on protesters in Khartoum, killing six people, hours after an agreement was reached between the two sides on the formation of a new governing body.
3 min read
A protester who was shot is helped by paramedics and fellow protesters (Getty)

Sudanese security forces shot and killed six people, including an army officer, in overnight clashes with protesters behind an uprising that led to the overthrow of former President Omar al-Bashir last month, a medical union said Tuesday.

The killings took place on Monday night, when protests in Sudan usually swell during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan that is marked by dawn to dusk fasting.

The head of Sudanese military intelligence, General Hudhaifa Abdel Malek, denied that security forces were responsible for the killings, blaming "infiltrators".

Hours earlier, Sudanese prosecutors announced that they have charged Bashir with involvement in killing and incitement to kill protesters during the uprising, according to the state news agency SUNA.

It was not immediately clear what punishment the former president might face. Protest organisers say security forces killed around a hundred demonstrators during the four months of rallies leading to Bashir's overthrow.

Omar al-Bashir is also wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of war crimes and genocide linked to the Darfur conflict in the 2000s. But Sudan's ruling military council has said it would not extradite him to the ICC at The Hague.

The Sudan Doctors Committee, which is part of the Sudanese Professionals Association that has been spearheading the protests since December, said the latest six fatalities included an army officer. The clashes took place in several locations across the country, including the ongoing sit-in area outside the military headquarters in the capital, Khartoum, the union said.

The ruling military council confirmed the death of an army major and said that three troops were wounded at the sit-in.

Since the military removed Bashir on 11 April, he has been imprisoned in Khartoum. The demonstrators, however, have remained in the streets, demanding the military hand over power to civilians.

The Sudanese Professionals Association said that progress in talks regarding the formation of a joint military-civilian council had led "remnants of the fallen regime" to try to disperse the ongoing protests by force.

The shootings took place one hour after the military council announced that agreement had been reached regarding the structure and make-up of the new council and its associated governance structures.

Footage circulating online late Monday showed protesters blocking roads in Khartoum with burning tires and trees. Other footage showed men from the Rapid Support Forces forcibly dispersing protesters. The paramilitary force, which has led counter-insurgency campaigns in Darfur and other regions, is led by Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the deputy head of the military council.

The Sudanese Professionals Association said the road closures were in response to the military council's ongoing delay in handing over power to civilians.

The protesters called for more demonstrations nationwide, including another march to the main sit-in.