Sudan Resumes Transition Talks After Protestors Killed
Sudan’s military announced all officers involved in the Monday deaths of protestors were fired and will be brought to justice. The news brings hope a civil government will soon form.
A spokesman for Sudan’s Transitional Military Council, Shams al-Din al-Kabbashi, declared on Friday that an investigation into the latest spate of violence in the Sudanese city of El-Obied revealed that a number of military officers belonging to multiple security bodies were involved in the bloody events in El-Obied, in which at least five high school children were killed and several others were wounded. The capital of Khartoum, plus Omdurman and Port Sudan cities also saw mass protests on Monday after news of the shooting in El-Obied went viral.
Monday’s shooting was the bloodiest since last month, when the military reportedly killed about 120 people during a protest in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. The death toll of 120 is according to non-governmental sources, including a doctors’ group in Sudan, but Sudan’s military counted a much smaller number of deaths.
UNICEF’s representative in Sudan, Abdullah Fadil said, “No child should be buried in their school uniform. The children, aged between 15 and 17 years old, were protesting the commencement of the school year amid political uncertainty in Sudan.” Fadil called on the Sudanese government to hold a probe into Monday’s killings and bring all those responsible to justice.
Al-Kabbashi further noted that ruler of the northern Kordofan province, along with members of the provincial security committee, were being held responsible for the killings this past Monday in El-Obied. He confirmed that all responsible for the violence were fired from their posts and will be brought to justice.
In a related statement, the head of the security and defense committee with the Transitional Military Council, Jamal al-Din Omar, revealed that the El-Obied incident was sparked by elements belonging to the Rapid Support Forces in the city. The Rapid Support Forces belong to the Transitional Military Council and are said to be commanded by the council’s deputy-chief, Mohammad “Hamedti” Dagalo.
According to the Qatari-based Al Jazeera news site, Omar confirmed that all those who sparked the bloody incident will be brought to court for justice. The Sudanese official also blamed those who incited students to get out of their schools and take to streets for protests.
Power-sharing Talks Resume
The Freedom and Change party, one of Sudan’s key opposition bodies, unilaterally suspended the talks in the wake of the El-Obied events on Monday. However, power-sharing talks between the Sudanese opposition groups and representatives of the Transitional Military Council were resumed on Thursday.
Ibrahim Al-Amin, deputy chief of the Sudanese Nation Party and member of the Freedom and Change Party, said that both the opposition and the military agree on a draft constitution. Al-Amin expects that a civil government will be installed in a few days, asserting that the latest opposition-military meeting addressed all issues with goodwill.
Meanwhile, Al Jazeera reported that Mohammad “Hemedti” Dagalo, the deputy chief of Sudan’s Transitional Military Council and commander of the Rapid Support Forces met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi during a two-day visit to Egypt. Sisi offered support to the Sudanese military.
Recently, the Freedom and Change Party held meetings with Sudan’s military council over ways to implement the July agreement between Sudan’s military and opposition groups for establishing a power-sharing government.
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 had 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 killed more than 100 protesters outside the military’s headquarters, intensifying worry that Sudan would become a military dictatorship.
The goal, though, is to rapidly complete the power-sharing agreement and have a civilian government. “The agreement is really now just around the corner,” said Satea al-Hajj of the Freedom and Change Party.