Hundreds of Sudanese staged a sit-in protest on Sunday in various parts of Khartoum and its suburbs for the fourth consecutive day, demanding the departure of the military junta that seized power in October.
Although Sudanese have been holding pro-democracy protests every week since the coup of General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the movement took on new life on Thursday.
Then—the three-year anniversary of the uprising that toppled Omar al-Bashir—tens of thousands of Sudanese took to the streets to demonstrate.
The security forces used real bullets against them. Toll: nine protesters dead, hundreds injured and as many arrested, according to the pro-democracy doctors’ union. In total since October 114 protesters have lost their lives and thousands have been injured.
The Sudanese judiciary announced on Sunday night that it had launched an investigation “into the events that caused the deaths and injuries”.
After Thursday, the bloodiest day since the beginning of the year, the protesters have not left the streets.
“We will continue to fight against the coup plotters until a civilian-only government is formed,” said Muayad Mohammed, who is in one of the camps set up by protesters in central Khartoum.
After the “revolution” that overthrew dictator Omar al-Bashir in 2019, military and politicians agreed to jointly rule the country and lead it to the first free elections after 30 years of dictatorship.
But on October 25, General Burhan arrested the politicians he co-ruled with and plunged Sudan into violence and a deep economic crisis, as the international community suspended humanitarian aid to the country.
Yesterday, as in the “revolution” of 2019, pro-democracy protesters gathered in front of the army general staff building, where armored vehicles of the infamous Direct Support Forces (FSR) had been deployed.
In 2019, the protesters had camped at this point for seven months, despite repeated bloody interventions by the security forces.
The FSR, commanded by the second-in-command of the military regime, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, also known as “Khemedi”, also patrolled many streets in the capital.
On Friday and Saturday, the security forces dispersed the protesters with tear gas.
Thursday’s crackdown was condemned by the international community which criticized “the impunity of the security forces” and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet called for an “independent investigation”.
The UN, the African Union and the US are pushing for a national dialogue to break the deadlock. But only the military and their allies want to participate in it, while the citizens consider it to be a “false” political solution aimed at “legitimizing” the coup.