Sudanese Opposition Protests Over Investigation Report on Deadly June Attacks

  • The attack killed at least 100 protesters and injured over 400 others.
  • The investigating committee disputed the number of fatalities saying 87 were killed and 168 were wounded.
  • The Sudan people do not believe it.

No blame is being placed on Sudan’s military junta. That was the core of the report from the investigation committee set up by the military to look into what happened on June 3rd, when security forces attacked a pro-democracy sit-in at army headquarters in Khartoum on June 3rd.

Sudan is a country in Northeast Africa. It has a population of 43 million people (2018 estimate) and occupies a total area of 1,886,068 square kilometres (728,215 square miles), making it the third-largest country in Africa. Sudan’s predominant religion is Islam, and its official languages are Arabic and English.

One of the brigadiers was warned that he’s not responsible for the operation, yet he disobeyed orders and led the rapid support forces into the sitting area and handed down orders for them to get out of their armored vehicles and force the protesters out.

It’s also known that the riot force is led by one of the army colonels. That day his forces moved into the sitting area and some personnel started battling with protesters, firing indiscriminately. The attack killed at least 100 protesters and injured over 400 others, according to the Central Committee for Sudan’s doctors which supported the protest movement.

The raid was live-streamed online by protesters as they were running to save their lives and the incident was widely circulated on social media when the internet network was cut off on the day of the attack. It was restored more than a month later.

The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) is an umbrella association of 17 different Sudanese trade unions. The organisation started forming in October 2012, though was not officially registered due to government crackdowns on trade unions, and was created more formally in October 2016 by an alliance between unions of doctors, journalists and lawyers. In December 2018, the group called for the introduction of a minimum wage and participated in protests in Atbara against the rising cost of living.

The investigating committee disputed the number of fatalities saying 87 were killed and 168 were wounded. The attack halted talks between the military junta and the opposition coalition known as the Forces for Freedom and Change, which represents the protest movement. Talks resumed a month later as protesters continued to demand accountability and an initial power-sharing. The agreement was signed earlier this month.

The Sudanese Professionals Association, part of the opposition coalition and the body which has been leading the cause for protests since December last year, insists the committee was not independent, but says it should not affect the talks to form a transitional government.

Hours after the report was released, people protested against its findings. The Sudan people do not believe it. What happened undermines the political process, unless the military council is looking for excuses to freeze negotiations or procrastinate. What happened is a natural response. Let the military councils see this as a strong message, that the people cannot remain silent.

The Investigation Committee was formed not to bring the truth but to conceal and hide the truth as the two sides continue to form a transitional government, while protesters on the streets continued their demand for justice. But some analysts believe the investigation report could end up obstructing justice, from a justice perspective. The investigation commission needs to be an independent body.

The June 3rd attack was the most violent since the start of the protests in December. Many say that the justice and accountability they demand cannot be achieved without a civilian government and a change in the system– the reason why they started the revolution in the first place.

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George Mtimba

George clarifies how the news is changing the world, how world news trends affect you. Also, George is a professional journalist, a freelance news reporter and writer who is passionate with current world news.

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