The deaths of those who dare to challenge the military coup do not stop

Eight months after the military coup d’état in Sudan, Northeast Africa, protests against the military continue to be constant every week, but the latest is one of the largest demonstrations since the October 25 coup. At least nine people died in the new day. The opposition union argues that “the victims are shot by the coup authorities.” In total, there are already 113 dead.

Protesters against the military coup in Sudan, which toppled the transitional government and arrested most of its ruling civilian leaders, continue to be violently repressed.

In a new day of non-conformity, like the usual ones every Thursday and the largest views in months, at least nine people died, bringing the number of victims of the repression of the Sudanese security forces since last October to 113, including 18 kids.

One day after these deaths and defying the military for the deadly repression that occurred the day before, this Friday, July 1, thousands of people returned to the streets of Khartoum, the capital, to reject their presence in power.

The protesters headed to the Presidential Palace, the headquarters of the Sudanese military leader Abdelfatah al-Burhan, where there were new clashes with the military, according to the Central Resistance Committee, which organizes the protests in the African country.

Anti-military protesters march on Friday, July 1, 2022, in Khartoum, Sudan, a day after nine people were killed in demonstrations against the military coup last October.
Anti-military protesters march on Friday, July 1, 2022, in Khartoum, Sudan, a day after nine people were killed in demonstrations against the military coup last October. © Marwan Ali / AP

Meanwhile, the opposition Committee of Sudanese Doctors, which is dedicated to accounting for the victims of the protests and treating the wounded, reported that, in Khartoum, there were victims of “shots fired by the coup authorities against the people who are protesting peaceful in accordance with their constitutional rights”. The other victims of the crackdown, including a 15-year-old boy, died in the cities of Bahri and Um Durman, neighboring Khartoum.

According to medical sources cited in a statement from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, most of those killed were shot in the chest, head, and back. Security forces also arrested at least 355 protesters across the country, including 39 women and a significant number of children.

During the demonstrations there were widespread interruptions of internet service. The ‘Netblocks’ observatory, which tracks network interruptions and blackouts, confirmed the cut amid the protests. Activists say the government has paralyzed communications to prevent gatherings and slow the spread of news on days when large turnouts are expected in the protests.

Large funeral marches were held in and around Khartoum for some of those killed the day before, while others gathered after Friday prayers at mosques in the country’s capital.

What do the Sudanese authorities respond?

Police said on Friday they had launched an investigation after a video circulated online that appears to show security forces pressing and kicking a seriously injured protester in the street the day before.

According to pro-democracy groups, the protester later died. In a statement posted on the website of the country’s state news agency, police said the video shows security personnel violating orders not to approach demonstrations with firearms.

The Sudanese Ministry of the Interior, which oversees the police, has consistently denied the use of live fire against protesters, despite evidence from activists and pro-democracy groups.

International condemnation of the excessive use of force by the Sudanese military

The European External Action Service (EEAS) of the European Union (EU) released this Friday on its official website the statement by the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, who maintains that the violence of yesterday, Thursday, June 30, “perpetrated, once again, by the Sudanese security forces against peaceful demonstrators is totally unacceptable”.

“It is the responsibility of the Sudanese authorities to protect civilians and prevent excessive use of force (…), they have once again violated basic human rights such as freedom of assembly, freedom of expression and the protection of civilians,” he says. the statement and adds that “this senseless loss of life goes against the determination of the Sudanese people in their search for democracy,” Borrell stressed.

This new day of repression occurs despite the fact that on Wednesday, June 29, the embassies of 13 countries and the delegation of the European Union in Sudan urged the authorities to guarantee freedom of expression and the protection of civilians. . The United States also condemned the violence in this African nation.

“We are heartbroken by the tragic loss of life in yesterday’s (Thursday) protests,” the US embassy in Sudan said in a statement on Friday. “We urge all parties to resume negotiations and urge peaceful voices to rise above those who advocate or commit violence.”

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, says she is alarmed by what has happened in Sudan, even after the authorities had announced that they would not use lethal force to disperse protesters.

Bachelet’s statement notes that reports indicate that joint security forces used live ammunition as well as tear gas and water cannons against protesters in cities and towns across the country.

Since the coup, the UN political mission in Khartoum, the African Union and the eight-nation East African regional group of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) have been trying to find a way out of the political deadlock. But the talks have yielded no results so far.

In a joint statement tweeted on Friday, the three bodies expressed their “disappointment at the continued use of excessive force by the security forces and the lack of accountability for such actions, despite repeated commitments from the authorities “.

The coup that ruined the democratic transition

The demonstrators gathered en masse this Thursday and Friday in favor of a civilian government and democracy in one of the largest demonstrations in the entire country since the military coup of October 25, 202, which put an end to the fragile and short transition to the democracy after the 2019 ouster of autocratic ruler Omar al-Bashir.

Thursday’s protests also fell on the third anniversary of the major protests of 2019, which forced the generals to come to the negotiating table with pro-democracy groups and eventually sign a power-sharing agreement that was expected to rule Sudan for a transition period, until general elections are held. But the coup last October ruined this arrangement.

Western governments have repeatedly asked the generals to allow peaceful protests, but there is still an echo.

With AP, EFE, UN and EEAS

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Written by Editor TLN

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