At least 42 protesters have reportedly been killed in Sudan since October, and as many as 200 have been injured in the demonstrations demanding the full civilian rule that they won in 2019, when their mass protests ended Omar al-Bashir’s 30-year military rule.
After an interim period of dual military-civilian rule, power was meant to be handed over to civilians. But in late October, just a few weeks before this was meant to take place, the military grabbed power. General Abdel Fattah al- Burhan, head of the Sovereign Council that has run Sudan since 2019, had Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and his cabinet detained, prompting the mass protests.
As had occurred in the protests against al-Bashir, Sudanese state security forces unleashed violence in response. Under the cover of an internet and telephone blackout, they reportedly killed 14 demonstrators on the deadliest day, November 17. The communications blockade remained in place until November 18, despite a court ordering it lifted nine days earlier.
On November 21, Hamdok signed a 14-point agreement with the military that ended his house arrest and the detention of other civilian leaders, and reinstated him as prime minister.
The main groups protesting in the streets rejected this and continued to organise protests. They chant “no negotiations, no partnership” as they demand what they had fought for in the first place.
Unwilling to give Sudan a democratically elected government, the military and security forces have continued to meet protests with violence. Some of the injured were reportedly dragged out of hospitals when they sought treatment.
This week, the media reported that security forces used sound grenades and teargas to disperse demonstrators who were marching towards the Republican Palace, where the country’s rulers sit.