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Sudan PM forms committee to investigate use of force against demos

February 23 - 2020 KHARTOUM
A protester during the recent demonstration (File photo: RD)
A protester during the recent demonstration (File photo: RD)

February 23 - 2020 KHARTOUM The Sudanese Ministry of Health reported that 53 people were injured during demonstrations on Thursday. Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok has formed a committee that will investigative the use of excessive force against peaceful protestors.

Some of the wounded were reportedly not even participants in the demonstrations, but passing by or working near the place where the protests took place.

In a statement, the Health Ministry said that tear gas was fired into the campus of the Medical Specialisations Council. A school bus full of children was attacked during the demonstration.

The statement claims that various violent methods were used during the demonstration including live bullets, tear gas, batons, and iron pipes as well as stones that were thrown at the protestors.

On Saturday, PM Abdallah Hamdok announced the formation of an investigative committee regarding the disproportionate use of force against protestors on Thursday. The investigative committee headed by the Attorney General is expected to submit its final report within seven days.

Several political parties condemned the excessive use of force in the recent demonstration against the protestors on Thursday. The National Umma Party and the Communist Party of Sudan, as well as resistance committees described the disproportionate use of force as unjustified and asked for accountability.

Minister of Information and government spokesman, Feisal Mohamed Saleh pointed in a statement on Thursday evening to certain political actors who are planning to infiltrate these peaceful demonstrations and use it as a pretext to create confusion and use violence to topple the government. “The government is aware of these expedient plans,” he said.

In a statement on Friday, the public prosecution decided to form an investigation team to look into the violence that occurred on Thursday. The statement advised demonstrators to adhere to the principle of peaceful demonstration for the safety of the people and the country. “We will not repeat the policies of the former regime and allow such serious human rights violations to happen again,” the statement concluded.

Denied

The police department denied the allegations that they use firearms against the peaceful demonstrators on Thursday. The police were instructed explicitly not to use violence. There were 60 policemen injured during the incidents, and significant damage occurred to police vehicles.

The police press office issued a statement explaining the facts and circumstances of the violent incidents. They claimed that certain groups took advantage of the peaceful demonstration and broke fence in El Gasr Street in downtown Khartoum, trespassing on the private property of people, impeding traffic on the public road as well as assaulting the police forces with stones. “We carried out our duties according to Articles 124 and 125 under the Sudanese Criminal Procedure Law of 1991.

The police exercised their powers and duties in accordance with the field assessment and the situation on the ground to protect and secure the safety of the people,” the statement said. The police further expressed their concern for those people who were injured.

On February 21, Radio Dabanga reported that thousands of demonstrators condemned the dismissal of army officers, who supported the popular uprising before the fall of President Al Bashir in April 2019, in Khartoum and other cities yesterday. The police reacted with excessive violence, using tear gas and batons.

 


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