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Sudanese Death Toll Rises After Weekend Protests

Security forces moved in against Sudanese protesters who've been demanding an end to military rule.
Security forces moved in against Sudanese protesters on June 5 who've been demanding an end to military rule. (Photo: YouTube screenshot)

The Sudanese military claims a coalition government is in the works, but Sudanese citizens continued protests over the weekend to keep up the pressure for a democratic future.

Large crowds of people took to the streets across cities and towns in Sudan over the weekend. According to the Sudanese ministry of health, 11 civilian protesters were killed and 181 others were wounded during clashes between protesters and security forces, across a number of Sudanese regions, mainly in Khartoum.

The new fresh wave of protests comes as the transition to a new civilian government is delayed. Sudan is struggling to form a stable government after last December’s uprising toppled Sudan’s long-time dictator Omar al-Bashir.

Among the protesters wounded, 27 were hit by live bullets while 50 others were injured by pushing among the crowds, 10 security personnel were also injured, according to the ministry’s report.

Organizers of Sunday’s marches, mainly the opposition Coalition of Freedom and Change, said the protesters wanted to deliver a message to the military transitional council of Sudan, which the opposition describes as the authority of fear and coup, that the Sudanese want to see a concrete change that would lead to a democratic Sudan.

Violent Confrontation

Sudan’s military transitional council accused demonstrators of provoking security forces by violently attempting to reach both the presidential palace and the defense ministry’s building in Khartoum.

In a statement released Monday, the military council said many thugs and saboteurs were among the crowds, and that some of them opened fire on both military personnel and the protesters themselves. The statement added that security forces dispersed and prevented the crowds from vandalizing public facilities.

Meanwhile, organizers of the protests say their marches, called the One Million Marches, are to keep the recent uprising alive until its demands are met.

Mohamed Daqlu or Hameedaty, deputy-chief of the military transitional council of Sudan, said the military council has been on the side of the Sudan uprising and he hopes his country will soon establish a democratic process that will restore calm, once and for all.

Coalition Government Draft Proposal

In a meeting held Friday, June 28, with editors-in-chief of Sudanese newspapers, the chief of the transitional military council of Sudan, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, said his council is ready to support forming a coalition government of Sudan. Al-Burhan added that the Ethiopian President, Abiy Ahmed, had earlier proposed the inclusion of other political forces of Sudan, such as the Popular Conference party, in any upcoming coalition government.

Earlier, the Coalition of Freedom and Change in Sudan announced it had received a draft proposal for a coalition government from the Ethiopian presidency. It said that some reservations remain over the draft proposal, which had been previously submitted to all Sudanese political powers.

According to the draft, presented by the African Union and Ethiopia, a government of 18 ministers, as well as a sovereign council, including seven military officials, seven civilian ones and one more dignitary from the civilian society, shall be formed. The proposal also suggests that the former national conference of Sudan and other political parties that belonged to it shall be excluded from the future legislative council.

Since last December Sudan has lived through mass demonstrations in protest of the soaring prices of goods and commodities as well as inflation. The protests recently pushed the Sudanese army to overthrow the authoritarian President Omar al-Bashir who remained in power for more than three decades.

However, the country has been in a state of chaos after the ousting of al-Bashir with no clear successor to lead the country. Sudan’s military assumed power, but June 3 the military opened fire and murdered more than 100 protesters outside the military’s headquarters.

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Rami Almeghari

Rami Almeghari is a freelance independent writer, journalist and lecturer, based in the Gaza Strip. Rami has contributed in English to several media outlets worldwide, including print, radio and TV. He can be reached on facebook as Rami Munir Almeghari and on email as [email protected]

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