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Frustration at inertia as Sudan marks anniversary of massacre

May 24 - 2020 KHARTOUM
Painting of an injured protestor by Sudanese artist Nejmeldin El Atbarawi (RD)
Painting of an injured protestor by Sudanese artist Nejmeldin El Atbarawi (RD)

Across social media, Sudanese people expressed their frustrations and anger, as the June massacre marks a year without any potential prospects on accountability or promising investigation findings.

Deputy Chairman of Sudan’s Sovereign Council, Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’ stated that the massacre of June 3 must be addressed and those responsible shall be held accountable.

On Friday, during the breaking of the fast of Ramadan, speaking to the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Hemeti said that the transitional government is safeguarded and no matter what the ‘deep state’ wishes for because Al Bashir regime is not coming back.

Hemeti further asserted to his forces that they are ready to protect the transitional government and any conspiracy or counter-revolution act will not succeed because the transitional government both the civilian and military groups are working as united.

Ramadan 29 massacre

The violent dismantling of the sit-in in front of the army command in Khartoum on June 3, also known as the Ramadan 29 massacre, caused the death of 127 people. About 700 protesters and others present at the sit-in that day were injured.

On August 7, the Sudanese Professionals Association Initiative for Missing People reported it documented more than 100 cases of people who went missing from the Khartoum sit-in on June 3.

Between June 3 and July 18, another 16 people were killed during commemoration rallies and anti-junta protests.

Since the outbreak of the anti-government protests in mid-December 2018, at least 246 people were killed and 1,353 others injured, the Sudan Doctors Central Committee reported on July 28.

According to medics, 83 per cent of the victims were killed after April 11, the date President Omar Al Bashir was ousted in a military coup.

April and May saw 60 people killed across the country as protests pressuring the military to hand over power to a civilian government continued, and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), the militia that was established by the ousted regime, ramped-up attempts to disperse the sit-in in front of the army command in Khartoum.

Investigations

The Transitional Military Council that had taken over the rule over the country by ousting President Al Bashir on April 11, ordered a commission to investigate the violent dispersal of the protesters at the Khartoum sit-in.

The commission announced the outcomes in end-July. It said that 87 people were killed and 168 were injured during the attack on the sit-in. Officers of various ranks, including a general and a brigadier, had violated instructions of the Supreme Command.

Street protests erupted after the announcement of the results of the investigation. The Sudan Forensic Doctors Union described the report as “poor and defective, and disproportionate to the size of the crime committed as witnessed by all”.

In September, Prime minister Abdallah Hamdok announced the formation of a new, neutral investigation committee.


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