Two people were killed and dozens more injured as Sudanese security forces disperse a rally demanding justice for protesters killed in anti-government protests two years ago, the military said on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said he was “shocked” by the killings, calling it “the crime of using live ammunition against peaceful protesters”.
Hundreds of people gathered on Tuesday evening in front of the army headquarters in the capital Khartoum, at the site where thousands of people gathered in 2019 to initially demand the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir and urge to a transfer to the civil regime.
Tuesday’s protest began shortly before iftar, the evening meal that breaks the fast during the holy month of Ramadan.
This marked two years since the bloody dispersal of the mass encampment outside the army headquarters.
“As they (the protesters) left the site, unfortunate events occurred resulting in the killing of two people and injuring others,” the armed forces said in a statement, adding that an investigation had been carried out. been open.
The military said it was “fully prepared to bring anyone involved to justice.”
During Tuesday’s protests, young protesters were seen carrying banners and photos of those killed in the 2019 sit-in crackdown, according to an AFP correspondent.
“Punishment for the martyrs” chanted many while waving Sudanese flags.
“We will continue to call for justice,” protester Samar Hassan said.
A protester gave a speech calling for more protests if the government does not present the results of an investigation into the 2019 killings in the coming weeks.
Witnesses said security forces fired tear gas to disperse the protesters.
Ahead of Tuesday’s rally, Sudanese authorities set up roadblocks on roads leading to the army headquarters.
Hamdok, in a statement on Twitter, called the 2019 crackdown “extreme brutality.”
He promised that his transitional government, which took power after Bashir’s ouster, “would bring the culprits to justice.”
The 2019 sit-in was held to call for the end of Bashir’s three-decade reign.
The iron-fisted leader was ousted in April 2019, but protesters kept the camp going for weeks to demand the transfer of power from the military to civilians.
In June 2019 and towards the end of Ramadan, armed men in military fatigues violently dispersed the camp.
The crackdown that lasted for several days left at least 128 people dead, according to doctors linked to the protest movement.
The generals in power at the time denied ordering the bloody dispersal and called for an investigation into the incident.
An investigation committee was created at the end of 2019 to look into the events, but has not yet completed its investigation.
© 2021 AFP