Sudanese security forces have killed at least three protesters during rallies against military coups in recent years, doctors and an activist said ahead of a visit by US diplomats seeking to revive a transition to civilian rule.
Thousands of protesters demonstrating against military rule marched on the presidential palace in the capital Khartoum on Monday, drawing tear gas from security forces.
The protesters, who gathered about 2 km (1.25 miles) from the palace, blocked a main road in the Al Diyum neighborhood and burned tires before starting their march.
Large crowds have taken to the streets regularly demanding the return of civilian rule since the October 25 military coup ended a power-sharing deal that began after the ousted ruler Omar al-Bashir was ousted in the midst of a popular uprising. in April 2019.
Taking military control sparked widespread international condemnation and disrupted a fragile transition to civilian rule following al-Bashir’s ouster.
The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors (CCSD) said at least seven protesters were killed by security forces and dozens more were injured.
Activist Nazim Sirag said seven protesters were killed when security forces opened fire to destroy several marches in the capital, including the area around the presidential palace.
Monday’s seven killings bring to 71 the death toll of protesters killed since the October coup led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.
The pro-democracy movement condemned Monday’s deadly shooting and called for a two-day campaign of civil disobedience over the actions of security forces.
Faisal Saleh, a former information minister and Hamdoks adviser, said the killings were a complete crime and urged the international community to act.
The Sudanese people are not facing an arbitrary government or authority, but a criminal gang that cold-bloodedly kills Sudanese youth and the whole world is watching, Saleh wrote on Twitter.
The United Nations condemned the use of deadly force against demonstrators, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said later Monday.
Whether in Khartoum or other places, people have the right to demonstrate peacefully, he added.
Al Jazeera Hiba Morgan, reporting from the capital, Khartoum, said protesters were trying to continue the moment by taking to the streets in thousands to show the military that they want any initiative that would result in a clean civilian government. .
They say this is what they have demanded and despite the brutal and excessive use of force, as described by the United Nations, the protests will continue. They have planned more protests in the coming days, Morgan said.
On Thursday, Sudanese authorities said protesters stabbed a police general, the first death among security forces.
Authorities opposed the protest with all available police forces, special services and the army. “
The latest rallies took place as U.S. envoy to the Horn of Africa David Satterfield and Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Molly Phee are received in the Sudanese capital this week.
Starting Monday in Riyadh, Satterfield and Phee would meet with Friends of Sudan, a group calling for the restoration of the country’s transitional government.
The meeting aims to secure international support for the UN mission to facilitate a renewed civilian-led transition to democracy in Sudan, the US State Department said.
Diplomats then travel to Khartoum for meetings with pro-democracy activists, civic groups, military and political figures.
Their message will be clear: The United States is committed to freedom, peace and justice for the Sudanese people, the State Department said.
On Monday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that a new indictment against Lucy Tamlyn will head the embassy in Khartoum to serve during this critical moment in Sudan’s democratic transition.
The UN last week said it would launch talks involving political, military and social actors to help resolve the crisis.
The main civilian faction of the Forces for Freedom and Change, the main pro-democracy civilian group, has said it would accept the UN offer of talks if it revives the transition to civilian rule.
The proposed talks were welcomed by the ruling Sovereign Council, which al-Burhan re-created after the coup with himself as president.
Morgan said the UN in Sudan has tried to unite the various stakeholders in an effort to reach some kind of consensus so that all parties can go to a negotiating table.
The UN has acknowledged that it will take weeks before anything materializes if the move is successful, and it all comes just hours before a visit from senior US officials is expected, Morgan said.
Burhan has insisted that the takeover of military power was not a coup, but was only intended to correct the course of the post-Bashir transition.
Earlier this month, Sudanese civilian Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok resigned, saying the country was now at a dangerous crossroads that threatens its very survival.
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