Protesters Killed in Sudan on Day Seen as a Test for the Military

NAIROBI, Kenya — Three people were killed and more than 100 were injured in Sudan on Saturday, a doctors’ group said, as pro-democracy crowds flooded the streets, in defiance of a military coup this week that ushered in a new era of uncertainty for one of Africa’s largest countries.

Activists demand a “march of millions” days after Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the military chief, dissolved the joint civilian-military government that took shape after the 2019 ouster of Omar Hassan al-Bashir, Sudan’s longtime dictator. General al-Burhan, who ordered the arrest of the prime minister, and other top civilian leaders, declared a nationwide emergency and promised to establish a new government. He promised elections in July 2023.

These actions led to large-scale protests throughout the week as protestors in Khartoum and other Sudanese cities demanded a return to civilian control. Security forces responded with violence, killing at least seven people before Saturday’s demonstrations and injuring 170 others, according to the pro-democracy Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors. Trade unions and professional organizations called for civil disobedience. Many shops, schools, and banks closed their doors, while many federal or state government workers remained at home.

Sudan’s military has a history of bloody crackdowns, and analysts said the protests on Saturday, and the security forces’ response to them, would be a test of the military’s willingness to turn a page. Many Sudanese still recall June 3, 2019, when security forces brutally dispersed protests at the capital, raping and murdering dozens of people, and then dumping the bodies in the Nile.

“The military is promising to build a democratic, civilian state while stepping over the bodies of dead innocent people,”Dr. Sara Abdelgalil spokeswoman for Sudanese Professionals Association (a pro-democracy coalition combining trade unions). “We cannot allow this military takeover to become a successful story.”

The doctors’ group In a Facebook postTwo of the dead were killed in Omdurman. This is the twin city of Omdurman. Khartoum. There are security forces Protesters were hit with live bullets, the doctors’ group said, hitting one in the head and the other in the stomach.

The group didn’t provide any details about the death of the third victim, but reportedNumerous people were injured in Bahri near the capital and Gedaref in the east. Protests continued into the night with protesters still marching on the streets.

Despite repeated requests by United Nations and American officials to allow peaceful protests, the deaths and injuries occurred.

Friday night, the United Nations special representative for Sudan met Gen. Mohamed Hamdan (known as Hemeti), who heads the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces. A role in the latest coup. Volker Perthes was the envoy. Tweeted byHe stressed to the general population the need to “avoid any confrontation”With protesters.

Jeffrey Feltman (the U.S. special envoy for the Horn of Africa), said he spoke with General al-Burhan on Friday and warned against a violent reaction to planned rallies.

“The Sudanese people must be allowed to protest peacefully this weekend, and the United States will be watching closely,” Mr. Feltman’s office tweeted.

That message was reinforced by Antony J. Blinken (Secretary of State). “The United States continues to stand with Sudan’s people in their nonviolent struggle for democracy,” He tweeted. “Sudan’s security forces must respect human rights; any violence against peaceful demonstrators is unacceptable.”

Some within Sudan’s military have been surprised by the degree of public resistance to the coup, and rivalries among the generals are beginning to emerge, said Ed Hobey-Hamsher, the senior Africa analyst at Verisk Maplecroft, a global risk intelligence company based in Britain.

“The fate of the coup still hangs in the balance,”He said.

Pro-democracy organizations have rejected the possibility that they could recognize or negotiate with military governments, and instead demanded the release all civilian leaders, including Prime Minster Abdalla Hamdok. Mr. Perthes, the U.N. Envoy, was released. StatementHe was trying to mediate and was in contact with all parties. “toward a peaceful solution to the current crisis.”

Mariam al-Sadiq al-Mahdi (foreign minister of the now-dissolved Sudanese regime) said that the military must respect democratic aspirations of the Sudanese people. She stated that she was still concerned about Mr. Hamdok’s welfare.

“The Sudanese people have spoken clearly today,”She said. “We must humbly and respectfully submit to the ideas of the Sudanese people.”

Tensions over the possibility that a coup could be enacted had been building for months. Civilian groups accused the military, in addition to wanting to retain power, of resisting attempts to hold commanders responsible for corruption and atrocities committed under Mr. al-Bashir’s ousted dictatorship.

Protesters with Sudanese flags assembled in Khartoum and Omdurman at noon, before marching to major roads and bus stations.

Chanting could be heard from demonstrators “The people are stronger and the revolution will continue.”Others carried banners that read, “No to military rule.”

According to witnesses, security was tight around the capital’s military headquarters. The main bridges were closed and one point blocked the road to the airport.

In El Fasher, a town in the North Darfur region in northwestern Sudan, the army closed the market and sent people home, according to an aid official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to minimize any potential risk to his organization’s operations.

According to the official, there was also a large presence of military and police in the cities of Geneina (West Darfur) and Gedaref (East). Military officers cleared blocksades of bricks and slabs that protesters had put across roads in some cities to prevent them from getting into neighborhoods.

Protests took place in Sudan, as well as in other cities with large Sudanese populations. Protestors against the coup marched in Australia, Indonesia and Norway, as well as in Italy, Lebanon, Norway, Norway, and the United States.

“We have been in shock about what’s been happening in Sudan,”Elhussein Yosin, a board Member of the Sudanese Diaspora Roundtable (Britain), said this by telephone. He stated that protesters had gathered in major British cities, including London and Birmingham, to call on British lawmakers to pressure the Sudanese generals for their resignation.

“We are protesting to say no to a military coup and yes to democracy,”Mr. Yasin spoke.

The latest signs that instability has hit northeast Africa are the coup and the ensuing demonstrations. The nation has been suffering from rising economic hardships and fuel shortages as well as the coronavirus pandemic. This week, the United States froze $700 million in direct assistance to Sudan’s government, the World Bank All disbursements suspendedThe threat was made to both the country and to the European Union Follow the example of others.

Sudan was suspended by the African Union, and the generals were expelled. Leaders and governments around the globe condemn this behavior. President Biden said he “admired the courage of the Sudanese people in demanding their voices be heard.”

Amnesty International demanded that Sudanese Generals investigate the killings and bring to justice those responsible on Friday.

Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s regional director for east and southern Africa, said the military leaders “must make no mistake about it: The world is watching and will not tolerate further bloodshed.”

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