10 people have been shot dead and many wounded as thousands of Sudanese protested against last month’s coup in Khartoum and other cities on Wednesday,
According to a pro-democracy doctors’ union, In the northern suburbs of the capital alone, seven people were shot dead by the security forces which aimed at “the head, the neck or the torso”.
Since the military takeover On October 25, more than 34 people, including three teenagers, have been killed and hundreds injured.
By midday on Wednesday, the new military government cut off all telephone communications, while the Internet has been inaccessible in the country since the start of the coup. This affected mobilization which eventually affected the turn out for the protest.
On October 25, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane reshuffled the deck in a transition that had been shaky for months. He removed almost all civilians from power and put an end to the sacred union formed in 2019 by civilians and the military.
In this country where more than 250 demonstrators had died during the revolution that overthrew the dictator Omar al-Bashir in 2019, one of its spearheads, the association of Sudanese professionals, denounced Wednesday “foul crimes against humanity”, accusing the security forces of “premeditated murders”.
– Crimes against humanity” –
“Today, the repression is fierce, there was a lot of violence, tear gas and sound grenades continuously,” Soha, a 42-year-old protester told AFP.
“I saw a gunshot wound behind me and there were a lot of arrests” in Khartoum, she added.
The police, however, assured not to open fire and the state television even announced the opening of an investigation on the killed demonstrators.
In the evening, hundreds of demonstrators continued to hold their barricades in the northern suburbs of Khartoum to say “No to military power”, while the marches in other cities of Sudan had dispersed.
While no political solution seems to be in sight, Washington has multiplied its appeals.
After the sanctions, the United States announced that it was ready to support Sudan again, if “the army puts the train (of the transition) back on track”, warned the American Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Kenya.
– Return of Hamdok? –
His emissary in Khartoum in recent days, the Deputy Secretary of State for African Affairs, Molly Phee, has shuttled between Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, who is still under house arrest, and General Burhane, in an attempt to relaunch the democratic transition in Sudan, which has been under almost continuous military dictatorship since its independence in 1956.
But the head of the army seems to have no intention of turning back: he recently reappointed himself as the head of the highest institution in the transition, the Sovereignty Council. And he has reappointed all of its military or pro-military members, replacing only four members who support full civilian rule with other, non-political civilians.
In an attempt to quell the protest, hundreds of activists, bystanders and journalists were arrested.
According to the doctors’ union, the security forces went so far as to arrest doctors and the injured in hospitals in the capital.
On the political front, the military has been slow to appoint the new authorities it has been promising for days would be “imminent”.
Ms. Phee called for the return of Mr. Hamdok, whose few free ministers claim to still be the only “legitimate” cabinet, refusing to negotiate with the generals since October 25.
General Burhane, for his part, continues to promise elections in 2023 and asserts that he only acted to “correct the trajectory of the revolution,” as he told Ms. Phee on Tuesday.