June 17 (UPI) -- The European Union said Monday it holds the ruling Transition Military Council responsible for the deaths of more than a hundred people in Sudan since the military cracked down on peaceful protesters earlier this month.
"The EU firmly condemns the violent attacks in Sudan on 3 June 2019, which resulted in the killing and injuring of many peaceful civilian protesters, as well as sexual and gender-based violence," the EU's Foreign Affairs Council said in a statement. "It is clear that the responsibility lies with the Transitional Military Council as the authority in charge of protecting the population."
The EU also demanded an immediate cessation of violence being committed against the Sudanese people while calling for an independent and transparent investigation into human rights violations and abuses committed against the public.
"The EU remains deeply concerned by the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Sudan, and remains committed to help addressing the needs of the population," it said.
The opposition Central Committee of Sudan Doctors said that as of Sunday it had confirmed the identities of 128 bodies since the military conducted a pre-dawn attack on a weeks-long sit-in protest in front of the military headquarters demanding rule of the country to be handed over to civil rule.
The doctors group said the death toll is much higher, though, as "the number of children, youth, adults, homeless and elderly who were burnt inside the tents at the sit-in area and those dumped at the river can't be identified accurately [at the moment]."
The most recent victim was identified as Marwan Osman, 18, who was "severely beaten" by military forces in the capital of Khartoum on June 7, resulting in multiple skull and jaw fractures, the doctors group said, adding that he died Saturday in the Intensive Care Unit at Al-Saha Hospital.
The EU said it supports the African Union in its call to establish a civilian-led interim government, calling on the TMC and the opposition Forces of Freedom and Change to return to the negotiating table, which both sides left following June 3 while dissolving all previous agreements.
"A civilian-led transitional authority is the only partner with which EU-Sudan relations can be normalized," it said. "When Sudan embarks on a transition to civilian rule, the EU looks forward to supporting the country in tackling the social, economic and political challenges and implementing the necessary reforms and will provide assistance accordingly."
Tensions have been high in Sudan since the military ousted 30-year dictator Omar al-Bashir on April 11 following protests demanding civil rule of the country.
FFC has said the protests will continue until the military relinquishes its power to the people.