Death toll rises to 60 following Sudanese crackdown on protesters

Darryl Coote
Military forces used live ammunition Monday to disperse protesters in the capital demonstrating against military rule. Photo by EPA-EFE
Military forces used live ammunition Monday to disperse protesters in the capital demonstrating against military rule. Photo by EPA-EFE

June 5 (UPI) -- The death toll rose to 60 Tuesday following Sudanese troops firing on protesters the day before to break up months-long demonstrations for civil rule in the country's capital, according to opposition forces.

The Central Committee of Sudan Doctors, a member of the opposition Forces of Freedom and Change, said that 10 more people had died, raising the death toll from hours earlier when it counted 50 dead.


At around 5 a.m. Monday, Sudanese security forces opened fire on protesters demonstrating against military rule of the country at a sit-in in front of the military headquarters in Khartoum. The protesters, led by the FFC, have been demanding civilian rule of the country since the military ousted 30-year dictator Omar al-Bashir April 11.

The Sudanese doctors union reported 35 people dead and hundreds injured, many critically, the night of the attack.

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Since the attack, which the opposition called a "massacre," both the TMC and the FFC terminated negotiations over the makeup of a joint civil-military transitional government while the TMC said it also retracted all previous agreements it made with the FFC and would hold elections within nine months.


On Tuesday, the United States, Norway and Britain said the moves by the TMC were a cause for "serious concern."

"The people of Sudan deserve an orderly transition, led by civilians, that can establish the conditions for free and fair elections, rather than have rushed elections imposed by the TMC's security forces," the countries said in a Troika statement.

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The statement follows Tibor Nagy, assistant secretary for the U.S. State Department's Bureau of African Affairs, saying via Twitter that he had spoken with African Union Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat and that the United States supports the A.U.'s role to mediate and coordinate "next steps in pressing for a resolution."

Mahamat had previously called for an "immediate and transparent" investigation to hold those accountable for Monday's attack while stating the union is determined to "continue to engage and accompany the Sudanese people to support the consolidation of a political agreement."

The attack attracted worldwide condemnation from human rights groups, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the African Union and U.S. national security advisor John Bolton, who called on the ruling Transition Military Council to "respect the right to peaceful demonstration and speed transition to a civilian-led government."


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