UM: A protester was shot and died in Sudan’s capital on Friday, medics reported, as pro-democracy protestors gathered to seek justice for those killed in a deadly crackdown three years ago on the same day.
Thousands of people flocked to the streets in Khartoum and other towns to remember the 128 people killed when armed men in military fatigues violently dispersed a months-long sit-in outside army headquarters, according to medics.
The latest protests took place while UN human rights expert Adama Dieng was in Sudan, urging authorities to “refrain from using disproportionate force.”
Following the overthrow of longtime despot Omar Al-Bashir in April of that year, the protests in 2019 were critical in pressuring the military to share power with civilians.
However, in October of last year, a military coup led by army leader Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan interrupted that delicate political transition, and protestors have taken to the streets at least weekly since then, frequently in the face of renewed lethal force.
Protesters in Khartoum screamed “blood for blood,” while others asked the soldiers to “return to their barracks.”
Amna Behiri, whose son Abdel Salam Kesha was one of the demonstrators slain three years ago, wore a shirt with a print of her son’s face to one of the protests on Friday.
“First and foremost, we want justice,” she told AFP. “We can’t have a democratic state without justice.”
Later that year, an investigation into the June 2019 crackdown was initiated, but it struggled to get traction even before last year’s military power grab, and it has yet to release its findings.
Diaa Eddine, whose nephew was also killed in the crackdown three years ago, stated, “We lost youth who were dear to the people of Sudan.” “God willing, the Sudanese revolution will triumph on this anniversary.”
The UK, Norway, and the US released a united statement on Friday, “asking for the government-appointed investigation into the (2019) massacre to be completed as soon as possible and the conclusions to be made public.”
According to pro-democracy medics, a brutal crackdown since last year’s coup has murdered over 100 more individuals.
Dieng’s visit is his second since Burhan’s ascension to power.
Since October, Burhan has claimed that several security force members “misused” their guns during demonstrations, although no public prosecutions of people have been announced.
The United Nations Special Representative for Sudan, Volker Perthes, said on Friday that the Security Council had voted to extend the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission Sudan for another year.
The United Nations, the African Union, and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) have all pushed for Sudanese-led discussions to end the issue.
Military authorities met with representatives from the UN, AU, and IGAD on Wednesday and agreed to begin “direct discussions” between Sudanese factions next week.
Burhan revoked the state of emergency that had been in place since the coup on Sunday, paving the way for “serious discussion that ensures stability for the transitional period.”
Sudanese authorities have released several civilian leaders and pro-democracy activists since April.