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Sudanese Crisis: Protests Against Transitional Military Council Continue Amid Growing Death Toll

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Sudanese Crisis: Protests Against Transitional Military Council Continue Amid Growing Death Toll

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On June 3rd, the situation in Sudan rapidly deteriorated after forces of the Transitional Military Council (TMC) reportedly opened fire at the protesters still taking part in a sit-in in Khartoum, which began on April 6th.

The opposition-linked Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors on June 5th said that the death toll had risen to 108 people, after 40 bodies were pulled out of the Nile River. Upwards of 500 people were wounded and the death toll was likely to rise even further.

The state news agency, SUNA said that the death toll hadn’t gone above 46, citing an unnamed health official.

In a post on Twitter, the pro-opposition Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) said the country’s ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) had assigned a large number of troops to disperse the protest camp. It also provided a map of areas in which TMC forces had allegedly opened fire on civilians.

“Furthermore, troops dressed in police uniforms shot tear gas at the protesters to disperse them, before beginning to use live rounds,” the SPA said via Twitter.

On the following day, the TMC’s President Lt. Gen. Abdul-Fattah Al-Burhan said that all negotiations with “the Forces of the Declaration of Freedom and Change” [the brand used by the opposition] would cease and all agreements were off.

The initial agreement, which was allegedly unilateral was for a 3-year military rule that would end in fair elections.

“Cancellation of agreements reached and stoppage of talks with the Declaration of Freedom and Change call for general elections within period not exceeding nine months from today, under regional and international supervision and implementation, due procedures be put in place for this. Form a tasks government to carry out the assignments of the Interim period which are:- Bring to due process of law and eradicate all the symbols of the defunct regime who are involved in corruption and other crimes. Set the ground for comprehensive and sustainable peace in all areas of conflict in a way that would make peace prevail, and allow IDPs return to their home areas Set the conducive environment, locally, regionally and internationally for the holding of the general elections in a way that enable the Sudanese people to select their leadership in all transparency Guarantee public freedoms, and instill human rights and civil rights,” the President’s statement said.

He also said that the timeline would be accelerated and there would be elections within 9 months and to create a local regional and international environment for elections to enable the Sudanese people to choose their leadership with transparency.

On the next day, the TMC rolled back on the decision saying that the TMC was open to resuming negotiations with the Declaration of Freedom and Change representatives.

Chairman of the Political Committee of the Transitional Military Council, Gen. Shams-Eddin Kabbashi, has affirmed the readiness of the Council to return to negotiate with the Forces of the Declaration of Freedom and Change, provided that the appropriate environment is created and the desire of the other party is assured.

“Gen. Kabbashi said that the Transitional Military Council will continue to negotiate with the other political forces on transitional arrangements and will welcome those who wish to mediate between us for the benefit of the Sudan.

He pointed to the reluctance of the Forces of Freedom and Change in the implementation of what was agreed upon and its accuse the Military Council of this, citing as evidence the position of the Forces of the Declaration of Freedom and Change with regard to the agreement that was reached lately on equal membership (5 + 5) and a rotating chairmanship of the Sovereign Council.”

On April 11th, the 30-year-long rule of former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir came to an end, but a transitional military council assumed power afterwards, prompting the continuation of the peaceful sit in, which has been on-going ever since.

On June 4th, the UNSC convened in a meeting to discuss Sudan at the behest of the UK and Germany.

MSM reported that China, backed by Russia and Kuwait blocked draft statements proposed by the UK and Germany.

“During the closed-door session, Britain and Germany circulated a press statement that would have called on the TMC and protesters to “continue working together towards a consensual solution to the current crisis”, according to a draft seen by reporters.”

Russian Deputy Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy said the proposed statement was “unbalanced” and stressed the need to be “very cautious in this situation”.

“We don’t want to promote an unbalanced statement. It could just spoil the situation,” Polyanskiy told reporters.

Following the apparent failure to present an uniform response, the current and preceding European Union members of the Security Council (Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, United Kingdom, Italy, The Netherlands and Sweden) expressed their condemnation of the killing of civilians in a statement.

Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, The Netherlands and Sweden said the TMC’s “unilateral announcement to cease negotiations, appoint a government and call for elections within a too short period of time is of great concern”.

The European statement added: “We call for an agreed transfer of power to a civilian-led government as demanded by the people of Sudan.

The UN’s Special Envoy On Sudan Nicholas Haysom said: “I don’t want to engage too much in a discussion of who should do what because we are still hoping to play a role in bringing the parties together, we haven’t given up hope that a solution is still possible.”

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  • Concrete Mike

    What is really going on in Sudan?

    This morning on the radio, canada’s favorite.humanitarian intervention supporter blabbed about it for 30 minutes.

    The language reminded me of Syria in 2012, it was the same language.

    Whats the big game here I wonder.