Sudan crackdown: All the latest updates | News

Sudanese security forces attacked a protest camp in the country’s capital, Khartoum, killing dozens of people.

The assault on June 3 marked the worst violence in Sudan since the April 11 overthrow of long-time leader Omar al-Bashir.

The security forces’ bloody dispersal of the weeks-long sit-in outside the military headquarters in Khartoum drew sharp condemnation from the United Nations, the African Union (AU) and others. 

Protest leaders, who are seeking a speedy transition to civilian rule, called the raid “a massacre”. 

Here are the latest updates:

Monday, June 10:

TMC: Inquiry into sit-in violence to be published within 72 hours

The Transitional Military Council (TMC) has announced that it will publish the findings of an inquiry following the dispersal of the sit-in within 72 hours.

In a statement on Facebook, the TMC said it would release fact findings following “the incidents that accompanied the security operation that was carried out to raid Colombia [an area nicknamed thus because of alleged criminal activity] and its impact on the sit-in area”.

The statement said that the TMC had “no desire to disband” the protest sit-in site. 

“The joint commission inquiry concluded that there were preliminary evidence pointing to the involvement of a number of members of the regular forces,” the TMC said. “Accordingly they were placed in the military custody in order to try them in front of the judicial bodies.”

Sudan opposition members ‘deported’ after talks collapse

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) rebel group said three of its members were deported after they were arrested last week in the wake of a deadly raid on the protest sit-in.

Yassir Arman, the SPLM-N deputy head, was detained last Wednesday after returning from exile following al-Bashir’s removal.

The two others, SPLM-N secretary-general Ismail Jallab and spokesman Mubarak Ardol, were arrested after meeting visiting Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as he tried to mediate between the military council and civilian opposition.

A statement from SPLM-N chairman Malik Agar said the three officials had been deported in a military plane to Juba, South Sudan’s capital.

“This happened despite their rejection of the forceful deportation,” the statement said, adding that the move showed the military council’s intention “not to hand power to the civilians and not to reach peace”.

Sunday, June 9:

‘Four people killed’

At least four people have been killed  on the first day of a civil disobedience campaign, according to a doctors’ group linked to demonstrators.

Two people were shot dead in the capital Khartoum and its twin city Omdurman, said the Central Committee for Sudanese Doctors (CCSD), adding that two others died in a hospital in Omdurman after being stabbed and beaten, blaming paramilitary forces for the deaths.

It said a total of 118 people have been killed since a crackdown was launched on June 3 to disperse a sit-in outside the military headquarters in Khartoum.

Sudan police fire tear gas as civil disobedience campaign kicks off

Sudanese police fired tear gas at protesters taking part in the first day of a civil disobedience campaign.

Protesters gathered tyres, tree trunks and rocks to build new roadblocks in Khartoum’s northern Bahari district but riot police swiftly moved in and fired tear gas.

“Almost all internal roads of Bahari have roadblocks. Protesters are even stopping residents from going to work,” said the witness.

Sudan arrests opposition leaders

Demonstrators said protests will end only after the military rulers transfer power to a civilian government.

Saturday, June 8:

Arrest of opposition figures will “complicate” Sudan talks

Eric Reeves, Sudan researcher at Harvard University told Al Jazeera on Saturday the arrest of two senior opposition figures in Khartoum by security forces would complicate negotiations between the ruling military council and opposition groups.

“The Transitional Military Council is not really serious about negotiating with civilians. This could not have been more blatant in the eye of the opposition and it certainly paralyses any effort to move forward in negotiations,” Reeves said.

“The TMC did, however, achieve one thing and that is to create division within the civilian opposition – between those who will not negotiate with the TMC under any conditions and those who will engage with the TMC, but with conditions. It is a very confusing situation, a very divisive one,” he added. 

Sudan arrests opposition leaders after Ethiopia mediation effort

Sudanese security forces arrested two opposition leaders shortly after they met with Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed during reconciliation talks in Khartoum.

Opposition politician Mohamed Esmat was arrested on Friday soon after his meeting with Abiy, while a leader of the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), Ismail Jalab, was arrested at his residence early on Saturday, their aides told AFP news agency.

“A group of armed men came in vehicles at 3am (1:00 GMT) and took away Ismail Jalab … without giving any reason,” Jalab’s aide Rashid Anwar told AFP, adding that SPLM-N spokesperson Mubarak Ardol was also detained.

“We don’t know where they are being held,” he added.

Esmat and Jalab are both leading members of the Freedom and Change alliance, which brings together opposition parties and groups with the organisers of the mass protests in Sudan.

Ethiopian PM endorses envoys

A spokesperson for Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has told reporters that Abiy has endorsed two envoys to continue mediation efforts following his visit to Sudan.

“The prime minister has endorsed ambassador Mohammad Dirdiry on behalf of Ethiopia to represent him as a special envoy, as well as a special envoy from the African Union,” Belina Thiom said.

“They [the two envoys] will be staying within the course of the next two days to have further in-depth discussions with both parties and ensure that … decisions that have been confirmed today will come to fruition over the next few days,” she said.

Sudan protesters Khartoum

Protesters wave flags at the sit-in outside the military headquarters in Khartoum in early May [Salih Basheer/AP]

Friday, June 7:

Sudan opposition says it accepts Ethiopia PM as mediator

Sudan’s main alliance of opposition groups and protesters says it accepts Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as a mediator in their political deadlock with the Transitional Military Council (TMC), under certain conditions.

Among opposition demands are that the TMC take responsibility for the deadly dispersal of a protest sit-in on Monday, an international investigation into the incident is launched and political prisoners are released.

UN human rights office wants to send monitors to Sudan

The UN human rights office is seeking to send a monitoring team to Sudan to investigate alleged violations during this week’s military crackdown, agency spokesman Rupert Colville told Al Jazeera on Friday.

“We have made a formal request to the government to get the UN human rights monitoring team into the country as quickly as possible,” Colville said.

Ethiopia’s PM launches mediation talks 

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed arrived in Khartoum to spearhead mediation efforts between the military and opposition leaders.

Abiy met members of the TMC and is expected to hold talks with the opposition Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF) later in the day.

TMC spokesman Lieutenant-General Shams al-Din Kabashi received Ahmed at Khartoum International Airport for the one-day visit, before he met military leader Lieutenant-General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

UN urges restraint and respect for human rights

Speaking at a press conference, UN secretary-general’s deputy spokesman, Farhan Haq, told the Sudanese military to respect basic human rights.

“We have urged restraint from the security forces and … that the government respect … basic human rights of the people, including freedom of expression and freedom of assembly,” said Haq.

Thursday, June 6:

African Union suspends Sudan

The AU has suspended Sudan after the military launched a bloody crackdown on protesters.

The AU’s Peace and Security Department said in a post on Twitter that Sudan’s participation in all of the body’s activities would be suspended with immediate effect – “until the effective establishment of a civilian-led transitional authority” as the only way to “exit from the current crisis”.

Read more here.

Russia says ‘extremists’ in Sudan must be subdued

Russia said it opposed foreign intervention in Sudan and that authorities in Khartoum must subdue what it described as “extremists”, Russia’s RIA news agency reported.

The Russian foreign ministry also said it supported the holding of elections in Sudan.

“Naturally, in order to do that, you need for order to be imposed, and you need to fight against extremists and provocateurs who don’t want the stabilisation of the situation,” Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov was quoted as saying. 

UN pulls staff from Sudan

The UN announced it was pulling personnel out of Sudan because of the ongoing violence.

“There will still be some staff on hand to perform critical functions but because of security, some … are being relocated temporarily,” said UN spokesman Farhan Haq, who provided no details on the number of staff being moved, timelines, or how many would remain.

Haq did clarify that staff being relocated were civilians and no uniformed personnel were leaving.

African Union calls for emergency Sudan meeting 

The AU will convene an emergency meeting on the violence in Sudan, which comes after the AU condemned the crackdown on protesters on Monday. 

AU Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat called for an “immediate and transparent investigation” to hold those responsible for the bloodshed accountable and called on the military to protect civilians from further harm.

Sudanese protesters gesture and chant slogans at a barricade along a street, demanding that the country's Transitional Military Council hand over power to civilians, in Khartoum, Sudan June 5, 2019. R

Sudanese protesters gesture and chant slogans at a barricade along a street before the crackdown [Reuters]

Health ministry says death toll from violence is 61

A health ministry official said the death toll from Monday’s crackdown was now 61, up from the figure of 46 given by the TMC.

Suleiman Abdel Jabbar told Reuters news agency of the 61 documented cases, 52 were from the capital Khartoum and included 49 civilians killed by gunfire and three security personnel who died from stab wounds. The rest were from other provinces.

The update came after an opposition-linked doctors’ group said at least 108 people had lost their lives in the violence.

US condemns attacks on protesters

The US has urged the TMC to “desist from violence”, and the resumption of talks with protesters.

Department of State spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement that Washington “condemns the recent attacks on protesters in Sudan” and called for a “civilian-led transition that leads to timely elections and free expression of the will of the Sudanese people”.

UAE watching Sudan developments with concern

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is monitoring developments in Sudan with great concern and supports dialogue between the parties, its foreign ministry said in a statement.

“The UAE hopes that … constructive dialogue would prevail between all Sudanese parties, in a way that guarantees security and stability of Sudan, helps spare its people … and ensure its unity,” said the statement published by the state news agency WAM.

Wednesday, June 5:

Sudan military begins probe into raid on sit-in

The deputy head of the TMC said the body has begun a “fair and independent” investigation into the violent break-up of the Khartoum sit-in and other clashes.

“The council has initiated an independent investigation … with fast results,” said General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, better known as Hemeti, said in a televised address. 

Hemeti leads the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) that has been accused by protesters of attacking the sit-in.

’40 bodies pulled from Nile’ after deadly violence 

The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors (CCSD) said 40 bodies were retrieved from the Nile River on Tuesday, a day after the attack on the Khartoum sit-in. 

In a Facebook post, the committee said the bodies had been taken to an unknown location by the RSF. The figure brings the death toll since Monday’s raid to 100.

The CCSD also said there was a “total internet outage” in Sudan. 

Sudanese protest leaders reject al-Burhan’s call for talks 

Sudanese protest leaders dismissed General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan’s call for negotiations, saying the military cannot be serious about dialogue while troops were shooting and killing protesters. 

Mohammed Yousef al-Mustafa, spokesman for the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), said protesters “totally reject” al-Burhan’s gesture. 

Madani Abbas Madani, a leader of the DFCF, told Reuters: “We do not accept the Transitional Military Council’s invitation … because it is not a source of trust … It is imposing fear on citizens in the streets.” 

Sudan protests Eid al-Fitr

Sudanese people attend Eid al-Fitr prayers marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Omdurman, across the Nile from the capital Khartoum [AFP]

Saudi Arabia urges new talks after protest crackdown

Saudi Arabia called for the resumption of dialogue between Sudan’s various political forces, expressing concern over a bloody crackdown on protesters.

“The government of Saudi Arabia has followed with great concern the developments … which resulted in a number of deaths and injuries,” said the statement on the official Saudi Press Agency.

“The kingdom affirms the importance of resuming the dialogue … to fulfil the aspirations of the brotherly Sudanese people.”

Sudan rebel leader Yasir Arman arrested

A senior Sudanese rebel leader who returned to Khartoum to take part in talks with the military has been arrested, a spokesman for his movement said.

Yasir Arman, deputy chief of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), was seized from his lodgings in Khartoum by armed men in pick-up trucks who surrounded the building, the spokesman said.

“They took him without clarifying to us the place [they would take him to] and said they were from the National Intelligence and Security Service,” said Mubarak Ardol, adding that the armed men “beat” Arman and his assistant and destroyed surveillance cameras outside the house.

Yasir Arman, Sudan People's Liberation Movement senior member, speaks during joint news conference in Khartoum

Yasir Arman at a news conference in Khartoum in December 2010 [File: Mohamed Nureldin/ Reuters]

Death toll from Khartoum violence jumps to 60

The number of people killed since the security forces’ raid on the sit-in in central Khartoum jumped to at least 60, the CCSD, a doctors group linked to the protest movement, has said.

The death toll had earlier been put at 35.

Read more here

Military council offers negotiations after scrapping deals

The TMC offered to resume a dialogue on a transition to democracy – one day after the council scrapped all agreements with the opposition alliance.

In a message for the Eid al-Fitr broadcast on state television, Lieutenant-General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan paid homage to the uprising – which culminated in the military overthrow and arrest of al-Bashir – and said he was still ready to hand over power to an elected government. 

US, Norway, UK criticise ruling military council

The US, Norway and the UK issued a joint statement condemning the Sudanese security forces for their violent attacks on protesters which killed dozens this week.

The statement said the TMC “has put the transition process and peace in Sudan in jeopardy” by ordering such attacks on protesters.

It also expressed concerns the council had halted negotiations with protest leaders and cancelled all previous agreements.

Tuesday, June 4:

China, Russia block UN action on Sudan

China, backed by Russia, has blocked a bid at the UN Security Council to condemn the killing of civilians in Sudan and issue a pressing call from world powers for an immediate halt to the violence, diplomats said

During a closed-door council meeting, Britain and Germany circulated a press statement that would have called on Sudan’s military rulers and protesters to “continue working together towards a consensual solution to the current crisis,” according to the draft seen by AFP news agency.

Read more here.

Sudan medics accuse security forces of hospital attacks, rapes

The UK-based Sudanese Doctors Union has accused security forces of attacks on hospitals across the country and alleged women had been raped in Khartoum.

“Hospitals have been systematically attacked and medical staff have been brutally … savagely beaten in Sudan,” Husam Elmugamar told a news conference at the Royal College of Pathologists in London.

Hashim Mukhtar said a number of “women have been raped in one of the nearby neighbourhoods to the headquarters of the military council,” without giving details or saying how the group had learned of the assaults.

Two killed as protesters and security forces clash in Khartoum

At least two people have been killed in clashes between protesters and security forces in the capital, according to Sudanese protest organisers.

The CCSD said a woman was hit by a stray bullet in her home, while Nazim Sirraj, a leading activist, said a child, 14, was shot in clashes in Khartoum’s Haj Yousef neighbourhood.

Opposition group warns Arab countries against interference 

The Democratic Alliance of Lawyers has urged “some Arab countries” not to interfere in Sudanese affairs and to drop their support for the TMC.

“We ask that some Arab countries lift their hands from Sudan and to stop supporting the Military Council and consolidating the pillars of its rule with the aim of preserving it and protecting their own interests that are harmful to the Sudanese state and its citizens,” said the Alliance, which is part of the SPA.

The group’s comments appeared to be aimed at Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt, who analysts say are trying to consolidate their influence in Sudan following the overthrow of al-Bashir.

HRW slams ‘egregious rights abuses’ in Khartoum, calls for UN inquiry

Human Rights Watch has called on the UN to launch an “impartial, independent” investigation into the Sudanese military’s crackdown on protesters, saying the “egregious rights violations” during the raid required urgent international action. 

Jehanne Henry, associate Africa director at HRW, said: “Key international actors should impose targeted punitive sanctions against those responsible for the violence and urgently establish a UN inquiry.”

Opposition rejects military transition plan

Sudan’s opposition has rejected a plan by the TMC to hold elections within nine months, a day after a deadly crackdown on protesters, the worst violence since the removal of al-Bashir in April.

At least 35 people were killed on Monday when security forces stormed a protest camp outside the army headquarters in central Khartoum, according to the CCSD.

The main protest organisers, the SPA, accused the security forces of perpetrating “a massacre” when they raided the camp amid heavy gunfire.

Read more here

Military cancels agreement with the opposition

Sudan’s military will cancel all previous agreements with the main opposition coalition, the head of the TMC has said in a televised statement, following deadly violence in Khartoum after security forces moved to disperse a sit-in protest outside the defence ministry.

Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said that the coalition was equally responsible for the delay in coming to an agreement and that elections would be held within nine months.

Read more here

Monday, June 3:

Prosecutor orders inquiry into violence at sit-in

Al-Waleed Saeed Ahmed, Sudan’s public prosecutor, has ordered an immediate investigation into Monday’s raid on the sit-in, according to the state-run Suna news agency.

Protest leaders call for marches and roadblocks

The SPA has called on supporters to take part in marches across the country and block main roads to “paralyse public life”.

In a Twitter post, the SPA said “total civil disobedience” was the only way to force the TMC to cede power.

Death toll from raid on Sudan protest camp ‘rises to more than 30’

An opposition-linked doctors’ committee said the number of people killed in the dispersal of the Khartoum protest camp “has risen to more than 30”. 

The CCSD said hundreds of people have also been wounded, many by gunfire.

Amnesty calls on UN to consider sanctions on Sudan’s military 

Amnesty International has called on the UN Security Council to consider imposing sanctions on members of the TMC.

Sarah Jackson, the group’s deputy regional director for East Africa, said the UN body “must consider targeted sanctions on members of the TMC and others involved in the attack”.

UN condemns violence, use of excessive force in Khartoum 

Antonio Guterres, UN secretary-general, has condemned violence and reports of excessive use of force by Sudanese security forces on civilians, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

Expressing alarm at reports that security forces opened fire inside medical facilities, Guterres urged all parties “to act with utmost restraint”.

He also called unimpeded access to deliver care at the sit-in site as well as hospitals where the wounded are treated, and for the Sudanese authorities to facilitate “an independent investigation into the deaths and to hold those responsible accountable,” Dujarric said.

‘Wrong, outrageous’: World reacts to Sudan crackdown 

The deadly military crackdown on Sudanese protesters has prompted global concern. The US has described the assault as “wrong”, while the African Union, Egypt, Germany and Qatar urged protest leaders and the TMC to return to negotiations

The UK warned the TMC the international community “will hold it to account” over Monday’s violence.

Read more here

Death toll rises to 13, bodies seen floating in Nile River

The CCSD said the TMC has killed another four protesters, including an eight-year-old child. This brings the death toll to 13, with more than 116 others wounded. 

However, separate medical sources have said the death toll is at least 24.

The CCSD also said that according to witnesses, bodies of protesters shot dead by the TMC were disposed of in the Nile River near the site of the protest sit-in, and could be seen floating in the water.

What’s happening in Sudan: Six things to know about the unrest

Weeks after the removal of al-Bashir as president of Sudan, the fight for civilian rule continues as the TMC refuses to give in to the protesters’ demand to hand over power.

The TMC, led by Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, says it will oversee a transitional period that will last a maximum of two years.

Here are six things to know about the unrest

Sudan opposition says halting all contact with military 

Sudan’s opposition alliance said on Monday it was halting all contact and negotiations with the country’s military council after security forces launched a deadly raid on a protest sit-in.

The DFCF had been in talks with the TMC – which took over from al-Bashir in April – but negotiations have stalled in recent weeks.

Death toll rises in raid on sit-in site

The number of people killed in a raid by security forces on a sit-in site in Khartoum has risen to nine, the CCSD said.

“The number of peaceful protesters killed is increasing rapidly, which makes it hard to count and identify them timely,” the committee said in a statement.

TMC says security forces did not target sit-in site

TMC spokesman Shams al-Din Kabashi told Al Jazeera security forces did not target the sit-in site.

“What is going on is targeting Colombia [an area nicknamed thus because of alleged criminal activity] adjacent to the sit-in area and not targeting the sit-in. Dangerous groups infiltrated among the protesters in the sit-in area,” Kabashi said.

Security forces ‘firing live ammunition’ inside hospital

The CCSD said security forces were firing live ammunition inside East Nile Hospital in Khartoum.

Security forces chased peaceful protesters inside the hospital’s compound, the doctors’ committee added.

Protest leader: Storming of sit-in a ‘coup’ against uprising

A leader of Sudan’s protest movement called the storming by security forces of a protest camp in central Khartoum a “coup” against the uprising that overthrew al-Bashir.

“We will confront it by escalating protests, marches and full civil disobedience,” said Khalid Omar Yousef, a leader of the DFCF.

A spokesman for the TMC told Reuters news agency that he expects talks on the civilian transition to resume “today or tomorrow”. 

Protesters shot as military tries to clear Khartoum sit-in

Heavy gunfire was heard in Khartoum as security forces moved in to clear a protest camp that has been the central point in the demonstrators’ months-long struggle for civilian rule.

The CCSD, a medical group linked to protesters, said at least five people were killed and several wounded in the Monday morning raid, which was still in progress.

The overthrow of Omar al-Bashir

Read more here about the events of April 2019 that led to the removal of Omar al-Bashir as Sudan’s president.


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