Cut off from the world, Sudan lives its deadliest day since the putsch

Fifteen anti-Putsch protesters were killed in Khartoum on the bloodiest day since the October 25 coup, led by the army which, Wednesday, November 17, plunged Sudan into a macabre lock by cutting all communications .

In the northern suburbs of the capital alone, eleven people, including a woman, were shot down by bullets fired, according to a union of pro-democracy doctors, by the security forces who were targeting “The head, neck or torso”. In total since the putsch, 39 people, including three teenagers, have been killed and hundreds injured. But if the repression began on the first day, it reached a new level on Wednesday.

Before the outbreak of violence, the new military power – which cut off access to the Internet on October 25 – also scrambled all telephone communications in a country where the opposition was organized by SMS or even through graffiti. The brutal disconnection of the 45 million Sudanese began the mobilization: where the demonstrators were in the tens of thousands on October 30 and November 13, this time they were only thousands.

“Premeditated murders”

Facing them, the security forces were just as numerous, blocking the bridges connecting Khartoum to its suburbs and the avenues usually surveyed by demonstrators – in 2019 to say no to dictator Omar Al-Bashir and now to General Abdel Fattah Al-Bourhane , author of the putsch. In the country where more than 250 demonstrators died in the revolt that ended thirty years of dictatorship in 2019, one of the spearheads of the uprising at the time, the Association of Sudanese Professionals, denounced d ‘“Foul crimes against humanity”, accusing the security forces of “Premeditated murders”.

The police, she claims not to open fire and state television announced the opening of an investigation into the demonstrators killed. However, Wednesday evening, the doctors’ union accused the security forces of chasing them into hospitals and of firing tear gas canisters at the wounded and ambulances. Despite the danger, hundreds of demonstrators continued to hold their barricades in the evening, especially in the northern suburbs of the capital, while parades in other towns in Sudan had dispersed.

On October 25, General Abdel Fattah Al-Bourhane reshuffled the cards for a transition that had been faltering for months. He arrested almost all of the civilian representatives in power and put an end to the sacred union between civilians and soldiers.

Washington multiplies the appeals of the foot

While no political solution seems in sight after the coup, the United States has stepped up its appeals. After the sanctions, Washington has announced that it is ready to support Sudan again, if “The army puts the train back [de la transition] on rails “, warned US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a visit to Nairobi, Kenya.

His envoy to Khartoum in recent days, the Deputy Secretary of State for African Affairs, Molly Phee, has shuttled between civilians – like Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok still under house arrest – and soldiers, in particular General Bourhane, to attempt to relaunch the project of democratic transition in Sudan, which had freed itself, in 2019, from an almost permanent military dictatorship regime since independence in 1956.

But the head of the army does not seem to consider going back: he has returned to the head of the highest institution of the transition, the sovereignty council. And has renewed all its military or pro-army members, replacing only four members who support an entirely civilian power with other civilians, apolitical.

“No to military power” and “The people chose the civilians”, respond, Wednesday, the demonstrators who accuse General Bourhane of being a supporter of the old regime, an alliance between the military and Islamists which had remained in power for thirty years.

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On the political level, the soldiers are slow to name the new authorities that they have been promising for days in such a way. “Imminent”. Mme Phee pleaded for the return of Mr. Hamdok, whose few free ministers say they are still the only cabinet “Legitimate” and refuse to negotiate with the generals since the putsch of October 25.

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General Bourhane, he continues to promise elections in 2023 and ensures that he acted only to “Correct the trajectory of the revolution”, as he repeated, Tuesday, to Mme Phee.

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The World with AFP

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Cut off from the world, Sudan lives its deadliest day since the putsch

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