Hundreds hold anti-junta rallies in Sudan’s state capitals

Hundreds of Sudanese have rallied to denounce a deadly crackdown on protesters outside the military headquarters in Khartoum earlier this month and urge junta rulers to cede power to civilians.

Protests were held in each of the state capitals of Wad Madani, al-Ubayyid and Port Sudan to call for the Transitional Military Council (TMC) to relinquish power. Dozens, including employees from a private bank, also demonstrated in the national capital Khartoum.

This came after Sudan’s protest movement recently called for night-time demonstrations in residential areas in Khartoum and other regions. The movement said protests would be held on Wednesday and Thursday nights.

On June 3, crowds of protesters were violently dispersed by men in military uniforms, shooting and beating demonstrators who had participated in a sit-in outside the army headquarters in central Khartoum for weeks.

Witnesses said the assault outside the army complex was led by the RSF, which has its origins in the infamous Janjaweed militia, accused of abuses in the Darfur conflict between 2003 and 2004.

At least 128 people have been killed since the crackdown, the majority on the day the sit-in was cleared, according to doctors linked to the protest movement.

Sudan’s ruling military council admitted only later that it had ordered the dispersal. But the council then reversed its position, saying in a statement late Saturday that it did not order the dispersal and that it had actually planned to purge an area near the protest camp where people were said to be selling drugs.

RSF commander Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who is also the deputy chief of the country’s ruling military council, said on Thursday an investigation into the crackdown has so far led to the identity of the man who planned the raid.

“We have identified the man responsible” for dispersing the protest camp, Dagalo said without naming the individual, adding “there’s no need to impact the investigation”.

The crackdown has triggered global condemnation, with international organizations and several countries calling for an independent probe into the killings.

Meanwhile, members of the transitional council have failed to hand over power to a civilian-led authority despite regional and international pressure.

On Thursday, Sudan’s military ruler General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan sacked the country’s acting prosecutor general.

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, chief of the TMC, issued a decree sacking al-Waleed Sayyed Ahmed and replacing him with Abdallah Ahmed. No reason was given for the dismissal.

But his sacking came just days after ousted ruler Omar al-Bashir appeared in front of another prosecutor to face charges of corruption and illegal possession of foreign currency.

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