Sudan crackdown on protesters: All the latest updates

Sudanese security forces attacked a protest camp in the country’s capital, Khartoum, killing dozens of people.

The assault on Monday was the worst violence inSudansince the April 11 overthrow of long-time leaderOmar al-Bashir.

The security forces’ bloody dispersal of the weeks-long sit-in outside the military headquarters in Khartoum drew sharp condemnation from theUnited Nations, the African Union and others.

Protest leaders, who are seeking a speedy transition to civilian rule, called the raid “a massacre”.

Here are the latest updates:

Thursday, June 6:

Russia says ‘extremists’ in Sudan must be subdued

Russia said it opposed foreign intervention in Sudan and the authorities in Khartoum must subdue what it described as “extremists”, Russia’s RIA news agency reported.

The Russian foreign ministry also said it supported the holding of elections in Sudan.

“Naturally, in order to do that, you need for order to be imposed, and you need to fight against extremists and provocateurs who don’t want the stabilisation of the situation,” Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov was quoted as saying.

“That’s the situation right now, but we are against any external intervention, the imposition of anything on the Sudanese,” he added.

United Nations pulls out staff from Sudan

The United Nations announced it was pulling out personnel because of the ongoing violence.

“What we are doing is temporarily relocating some of the staff from Sudan. There will still be some staff on hand to perform critical functions but because of security some … are being relocated temporarily,” said UN spokesman Farhan Haq.

The spokesman provided no information on how many staff were being moved, where they were going, when they might return, and how many would remain in the country. The staff being relocated were civilians and no uniformed personnel are leaving, he said.

African Union calls for emergency Sudan meeting

The African Union will convene an emergency meeting on the violence in Sudan.

Calls for a meeting came after the AU condemned the crackdown on protesters on Monday.

AU Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat called for an “immediate and transparent investigation in order to hold those all responsible accountable” for the bloodshed.

Faki also called on the military to protect civilians from further harm.

Health ministry says death toll from violence is 61

A health ministry official said the death toll from Monday’s crackdown was now 61, up from the figure of 46 given by the military rulers.

Suleiman Abdel Jabbar told Reuters news agency of the 61 documented cases, 52 were from the capital Khartoum and included 49 civilians killed by gunfire and three security personnel who died from stab wounds. The rest were from other provinces.

The update came after an opposition-linked doctors’ group said at least 108 people had lost their lives in the violence.

US condemns attacks on protesters

The United States has urged the ruling miltary council to “desist from violence” and urged talks with protesters to resume.

State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement that Washington “condemns the recent attacks on protesters in Sudan” and called for a “civilian-led transition that leads to timely elections and free expression of the will of the Sudanese people”.

UAE watching Sudan developments with concern

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is monitoring developments in Sudan with great concern and supports the continuation of a dialogue between the different parties, the Emirati foreign ministry said in a statement.

“The UAE hopes that wisdom, voice of reason, and constructive dialogue would prevail between all Sudanese parties, in a way that guarantees security and stability of Sudan, helps spare its people the scourge of evil, safeguard its gains and ensure its unity,” said the statement published by the state news agency WAM.

“The UAE emphasised the importance of resuming talks among various Sudanese forces to realise the aspirations of the brotherly people of Sudan,” it added.

Wednesday, June 5:

Sudan military begins probe into raid on sit-in

The deputy head of Sudan’s military council said the body has begun a “fair and independent” investigation into the violent break-up of the Khartoum sit-in and other clashes.

“The council has initiated an independent investigation … an urgent and fair investigation with fast results,” said General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, better known as Hemeti. Anyone who “crossed boundaries” will be punished, he said in a televised address.

Hemeti leads the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) that has been accused by protesters of attacking the sit-in.

’40 bodies pulled from Nile’ after deadly violence

The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors said the bodies of 40 “martyrs” were retrieved from the Nile River on Tuesday, a day after the attack on the Khartoum sit-in.

In a Facebookpost, the committee said the bodies have been taken to an unknown location by the RSF. The figure brings the death toll since Monday’s raid to 100.

The committee also said there was a “total internet outage” in Sudan.

Sudanese protest leaders reject al-Burhan’s call for talks

Sudanese protest leaders dismissed General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan’s call for negotiations, saying the military ruler cannot be serious about dialogue while troops keep shooting and killing protesters.

Mohammed Yousef al-Mustafa, spokesman for the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), said protesters “totally reject” al-Burhan’s gesture.

“This call is not serious,” he told The Associated Press news agency. “Al-Burhan and those under him have killed the Sudanese and are still doing it. Their vehicles patrol the streets, firing at people.”

Madani Abbas Madani, a leader of the Alliance for Freedom and Change, told Reuters: “We do not accept the Transitional Military Council’s invitation … because it is not a source of trust … It is imposing fear on citizens in the streets.”

Sudan protests Eid al-Fitr
Sudanese people attend Eid al-Fitr prayers marking the end of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan in Omdurman, just across the Nile from the capital Khartoum [AFP]

Saudi Arabia urges new talks after protest crackdown

Saudi Arabia called for the resumption of dialogue between Sudan’s various political forces, expressing concern over a bloody crackdown on protesters.

“The government of Saudi Arabia has followed with great concern the developments in the brotherly Republic of Sudan, which resulted in a number of deaths and injuries,” said the statement on the official Saudi Press Agency.

“The kingdom affirms the importance of resuming the dialogue between the various parties in Sudan to fulfil the aspirations of the brotherly Sudanese people.”

Sudan rebel leader Yasir Arman arrested

A senior Sudanese rebel leader who returned to Khartoum to take part in talks with the military has been arrested, a spokesman for his movement said.

Yasir Arman, deputy chief of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), was seized from the house where he was staying in Khartoum by armed men who arrived in pick-up trucks and surrounded the building, the spokesman said.

“They took him without clarifying to us the place [they would take him to] and said they were from the National Intelligence and Security Service,” said Mubarak Ardol.

The spokesman charged that the armed men “beat” Arman and his assistant and destroyed surveillance cameras outside the house.

Yasir Arman, Sudan People's Liberation Movement senior member, speaks during joint news conference in Khartoum
Yasir Arman at a news conference in Khartoum in December 2010 [File: Mohamed Nureldin/ Reuters]

Death toll from Khartoum violence jumps to 60

The number of people killed since the security forces’ raid on the sit-in in central Khartoum jumped to at least 60, the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors (CCSD), a doctors group linked to the protest movement, has said.

The death toll had earlier been put at 35.

Military council offers negotiations after scrapping deals

Sudan’s military ruler offered to resume a dialogue on a transition to democracy – one day after he scrapped all agreements with the opposition alliance.

In a message for theEid al-Fitrbroadcast on state television, Lieutenant-General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan paid homage to the uprising that culminated with the military overthrow and arrest al-Bashir.

Al-Burhan said he was still ready to hand over power to an elected government.

US, Norway, UK criticise ruling military council

The United States, Norway and Britain issued a joint statement condemning the Sudanese security forces for their violent attacks on protesters that killed dozens this week.

The statement said Sudan’s ruling military council “has put the transition process and peace in Sudan in jeopardy” by ordering such attacks on protesters.

It also expressed concerns the council had halted negotiations with protest leaders and cancelled all previous agreements.

Tuesday, June 4:

China, Russia block UN action on Sudan

China, backed by Russia, has blocked a bid at the UN Security Council to condemn the killing of civilians in Sudan and issue a pressing call from world powers for an immediate halt to the violence, diplomats said

During a closed-door council meeting, Britain and Germany circulated a press statement that would have called on Sudan’s military rulers and protesters to “continue working together towards a consensual solution to the current crisis,” according to the draft seen by AFP news agency.

But China firmly objected to the proposed text while Russia insisted that the council should await a response from the African Union, diplomats said.

Sudan medics accuse security forces of hospital attacks, rapes

The UK-based Sudanese Doctors Union has accused security forces of carrying out attacks on hospitals and staff across the country and alleged some women had been raped near army headquarters in Khartoum.

“Hospitals have been systematically attacked and medical staff have been brutally … savagely beaten in Sudan,” Husam Elmugamar told a news conference at the Royal College of Pathologists in London.

Hashim Mukhtar said a number of “women have been raped in one of the nearby neighbourhoods to the headquarters of the military council,” he said, without giving specific details or details of how the group had learned of the assaults.

Two ‘killed’ as protesters and security forces clash in Khartoum

At least two people have been killed in clashes between protesters and security forces in the capital, according to Sudanese protest organisers.

The CCSD said a woman was hit by a stray bullet in her home, while Nazim Sirraj, a leading activist, said a child, 14, was also shot in clashes in Khartoum’s Haj Yousef neighbourhood.

The doctors’ committee said there have been heavy clashes between protesters and security forces in Khartoum’s district of Bahri.

Opposition group warns Arab countries against interference

The Democratic Alliance of Lawyers has urged “some Arab countries” not to interfere in Sudanese affairs and to drop their support for the ruling military council.

“We ask that some Arab countries lift their hands from Sudan and to stop supporting the Military Council and consolidating the pillars of its rule with the aim of preserving it and protecting their own interests that are harmful to the Sudanese state and its citizens,” said the Alliance, which is part of the Sudanese Professionals Association.

The group’s comments appeared to be aimed atSaudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt, who analysts say are trying to consolidate their influence in Sudan following the overthrow of al-Bashir.

HRW slams ‘egregious rights abuses’ in Khartoum, calls for UN inquiry

Human Rights Watch has called on the UN to launch an “impartial, independent” investigation into the Sudanese military’s crackdown on protesters, saying the “egregious rights violations” during the raid required urgent international action.

Jehanne Henry, associate Africa director at Human Rights Watch, said: “Key international actors should impose targeted punitive sanctions against those responsible for the violence and urgently establish a UN inquiry.”

Opposition rejects military transition plan

Sudan’s opposition has rejected a plan by the country’s military rulers to hold elections within nine months, a day after a deadly crackdown on protesters, the worst violence since the removal of al-Bashir in April.

At least 35 people were killed on Monday when security forces stormed a protest camp outside the army headquarters in central Khartoum, according to the CCSD.

The main protest organisers, the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), accused the security forces of perpetrating “a massacre” when they raided the camp amid heavy gunfire.

Military cancels agreement with the opposition

Sudan’s military will cancel all previous agreements with the main opposition coalition, the head of the TMC has said in a televised statement, following deadly violence in Khartoum after security forces moved to disperse a sit-in protest outside the defence ministry.

Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said that the coalition was equally responsible for the delay in coming to an agreement and that elections would be held within nine months.

Monday, June 3:

Prosecutor orders inquiry into violence at sit-in

Al-Waleed Saeed Ahmed, Sudan’s public prosecutor, has ordered an immediate investigation into Monday’s raid on the sit-in,according tothe state-run Suna news agency.

Protest leaders call for marches and roadblocks

Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) has called on supporters to take part in marches across the country and to block main roads to “paralyse public life”.

In a Twitter post, the SPA said “total civil disobedience” was the only way to force the country’s military rulers to cede power.

Death toll from raid on Sudan protest camp ‘rises to more than 30’

An opposition-linked doctors’ committee said the number of people killed in the dispersal of the Khartoum protest camp “has risen to more than 30”.

The CCSD said hundreds of people have also been wounded, many by gunfire.

Amnesty calls on UN to consider sanctions on Sudan’s military

Amnesty International has called on the UN Security Council to consider imposing sanctions on members of the TMC.

Sarah Jackson, the group’s deputy regional director for East Africa, said the UN body “must consider targeted sanctions on members of the TMC and others involved in the attack”.

UN condemns violence, use of excessive force in Khartoum

Antonio Guterres, UN secretary-general, has condemned violence and reports of excessive use of force by Sudanese security forces on civilians, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

Expressing alarm at reports that security forces opened fire inside medical facilities, Guterres urged all parties “to act with utmost restraint”.

He also called unimpeded access to deliver care at the sit-in site as well as hospitals where the wounded are treated, and for the Sudanese authorities to facilitate “an independent investigation into the deaths and to hold those responsible accountable,” Dujarric said.

‘Wrong, outrageous’: World reacts to Sudan crackdown

The deadly military crackdown on Sudanese protesters has prompted global concern with the United States describing the assault as “wrong”.

The African Union, Egypt, Germany and Qatar urged protest leaders and the TMC to return to negotiations, while the United Kingdom warned military rulers the international community “will hold it to account” over Monday’s violence.

Death toll rises to 13, bodies seen floating in Nile River

The CCSD said the TMC has killed another four protesters, including an eight-year-old child. This brings the death toll to 13, with more than 116 others wounded.

However, separate medical sources have said the death toll is at least 24.

The CCSD also said that according to witnesses, bodies of protesters shot dead by the TMC were disposed of in the Nile River near the site of the protest sit-in, and could be seen floating in the water.

What’s happening in Sudan: Six things to know about the unrest

Weeks after the removal of Omar al-Bashir as the president of Sudan, the fight for civilian rule continues as the TMC refuses to give in to the protesters’ demand to hand over power.

The TMC, led by Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, says it will oversee a transitional period that will last a maximum of two years.

Here are six things to know about the unrest.

Sudan opposition says halting all contact with military

Sudan’s opposition and protest group alliance said on Monday it was halting all contact and negotiations with the country’s military council after security forces launched a deadly raid on a protest sit-in.

The Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF) had been in talks with the TMC that took over from al-Bashir in April, but negotiations have stalled in recent weeks.

Death toll rises in raid on sit-in site

The number of people killed in a raid by security forces on a sit-in site in Khartoum has risen to nine, the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors said.

“The number of peaceful protesters killed is increasing rapidly, which makes it hard to count and identify them timely,” the committee said in a statement.

TMC says security forces did not target sit-in site

TMC spokesman Shams al-Din Kabashi told Al Jazeera security forces did not target the sit-in site.

“What is going on is targeting Colombia [a nickname given to the area because of alleged criminal activity there] adjacent to the sit-in area and not targeting the sit-in. Dangerous groups infiltrated among the protesters in the sit-in area,” Kabashi said.

“We believe that a return to negotiations is the quickest way to resolve the problem,” he added.

Security forces ‘firing live ammunition’ inside hospital

The CCSD said security forces were firing live ammunition inside East Nile Hospital in Khartoum.

Security forces chased peaceful protesters inside the hospital’s compound, the doctors’ committee added.

Protest leader: Storming of sit-in site a ‘coup’ against uprising

A leader of Sudan’s protest movement on Monday called the storming by security forces of a protest camp in central Khartoum a “coup” against the uprising that led to the overthrow of al-Bashir.

“We will confront it by escalating protests, marches and full civil disobedience,” said Khalid Omar Yousef, a leader of the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces.

A spokesman for the TMC told Reuters news agency that he expects talks on the civilian transition to resume “today or tomorrow”.

Protesters shot as military tries to clear Khartoum sit-in

Heavy gunfire was heard in Khartoum as security forces moved in to clear a protest camp that has been the central point in the demonstrators’ months-long struggle for civilian rule.

The CCSD, a medical group linked to protesters, said at least five people were killed and several wounded in the Monday morning raid, which was still in progress.

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