The Khartoum State Resistance Committees described coup leader Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan’s accusation that protesters would be violating peace and attacking police stations and government offices as “baseless accusations and media hypocrisy aimed at distorting the revolution”.
Fadil Omar, spokesperson for the Khartoum State Resistance Committees, told Radio Dabanga that since the October 25 military coup, El Burhan has been using twisted methods to distort the revolution in an attempt to make the international community believe that the revolutionaries have refrained from peace and are using violence to demand their rights.
Omar emphasised the peacefulness of the movement and explained that violence “is a culture associated with a certain group that uses weapons”, referring to armed forces, and affirmed the movement’s belief in non-violence and in a peaceful approach to demanding legitimate rights.
He explained that this approach was able to bring down the Al Bashir regime, which weighed heavily on the chest of the Sudanese people for thirty years.
El Burhan’s accusations
In an interview with El Hurra Arab satellite channel broadcast on Sunday, El Burhan accused the demonstrators of "violating peace" and attacking police stations and government headquarters.
He added that the security forces had clear instructions "not to attack anyone who wants to express their opinion by peacefully demonstrating… They are also ordered not to carry weapons or pursue the demonstrators and to remain in their positions and preserve the state’s property and offices”.
When asked about the opinion of some that the military component of the current government is not serious about ending violations against demonstrators and holding those responsible for their killing accountable El Burhan replied that “these accusations are coming from political intrigue”.
He explained that the police are the ones who maintain security and sovereignty and that the military component has nothing to do with these matters. El Burhan also denied accusations by the CCSD that the security forces use internationally banned substances and weapons, such as coloured tear gas, in dealing with demonstrators.
Resistance Committees’ response
Regarding El Burhan’s statements that the Sudanese security services do not use internationally banned weapons, such as shotguns* (also called buckshot or birdshot guns as they scatter many small bullets), Omar told Radio Dabanga that the periodic reports of the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors (CCSD) on the injuries of protesters show otherwise.
There are plenty of statistics of injuries with birdshot guns and bullets aimed directly at demonstrators, which led to more deaths with the aim to reduce the revolutionary tide.
Omar pointed to the 11 killed protesters and the 81 injured ones who were attacked with this exact weapon. Omar explained that the forces that use these weapons are police forces wearing the official uniform of the state and obeying the orders of El Burhan.
Last week, a protester was killed in Omdurman with a shotgun. He died from birdshot pellets injuries in his chest and abdomen.
Regarding El Burhan’s statements about the protesters’ encroachment on public facilities, Omar told Radio Dabanga that the security forces were the ones who encroached on the protesters in front of the world’s eyes, who stole money and phones, and who attacked journalists directly.
“They are also the same forces that closed the Al Jazeera Live office and infringed on hospitals in Khartoum without taking into account the health conditions experienced by patients and critical cases inside these hospitals”, he added.
“They are the same forces that who roam densely populated neighbourhoods where many popular protests break out such as El Deyoum El Shargiya, Burri, and El Kalaklat in Khartoum and various neighbourhoods in Omdurman, and they are the ones who kill children and run over the revolutionaries with vehicles”.
'This is the violent approach adopted by the security services and their culture'
Omar further mentioned their involvement in robberies of citizens who do not participate in the demonstrations: “This is the violent approach adopted by the security services and their culture”.
* Shotguns are different to rifles or pistols, which fire single projectiles like bullets, as they fire ‘shot’, which is a hail of smaller pellets. They can use several different cartridges or shells including buckshot and birdshot. Buckshot is used to hunt buck (larger prey) whilst birdshot pellets are smaller with a wider ‘spray’, designed to shoot into a flock of birds. They tend to be used by law enforcement because they are often non-lethal and do not have a very long range. However, despite being usually non-lethal, the pellets are so tiny that they are difficult to remove.