Sudanese government lifts internet blackout, activists share sit-in massacre videos

Sudanese government lifts internet blackout, activists share sit-in massacre videos
With internet in Sudan restored, many are turning to social media to post videos showing the violent dispersal of a pro-democracy sit-in last month.
2 min read
11 July, 2019
Harrowing videos have surfaced after the internet was restored across Sudan [AFP/Getty]

Videos have surfaced on social media showing Sudanese paramilitary forces using brute force to disperse a pro-democracy sit-in June that left scores of protesters dead. 

Internet services in Sudan were restored Tuesday following a month-long blackout imposed by the ruling military junta, which said the services "posed a threat to national security".

The blackout came after crowds of protesters were violently dispersed on 3 June by men in military fatigues, who stormed a weeks-long protest camp outside the army headquarters in Khartoum where they had camped to demand that the ruling generals step down.

More than 100 people were killed in the dispersal and over 500 people wounded, according to the doctors, with their bodies dumped in the River Nile.

Once the blackout was lifted, activists called for videos and testimonials of the massacre to be posted online.

The videos, collected under an Arabic hashtag, show protestors running away from shots being fired by paramilitary forces.

Other videos show Rapid Support Forces (RSF), an officialised paramilitary offshoot of the Janjaweed militias, beating and kicking protestors.

"Devastating after lifting of internet restrictions to see the footage surfacing out of Sudan from the violent dispersal of the sit-in, especially after an agreement was reached. There will be no redress, no accountability, it’s a v hard pill to swallow," one user wrote on Twitter.

The military and pro-democracy leaders reached a breakthrough agreement last week on a joint sovereign council that will rule for a little over three years while elections are organised.

The council will include five civilians representing the protest movement and five military members. An eleventh seat will go to a civilian chosen by both parties.

A member of the military will preside over the council during the first 21 months, followed by a civilian member after, according to the statement by the Sudanese Professional Association.

The internet outage was an attempt to quell new protests against the generals, protestors claimed.

The army seized power after the ousting long-time ruler Bashir following months of nationwide protests against his iron-fisted rule of three decades, but have resisted transferring power to a civilian administration.

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