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Elham AbolFateh

Middle East

Sudanese forces clear protesters with gunfire ahead of fresh talks

Wednesday 15/May/2019 - 10:02 PM
Sada El Balad
Edited by: Mohamed Emad

At least nine people were wounded on Wednesday when Sudanese security forces used live ammunition to clear demonstrators from central Khartoum، a protest group said، ahead of a meeting on who will run the country as it transitions to democracy، according to Reuters.

The Sudanese Professionals’ Association (SPA)، which spearheaded months of protests that led to the military’s removal of President Omar al-Bashir last month، gave the figure of nine wounded، in a statement.

Amjad Farid، a spokesman for the SPA، said، “We hold the military council responsible for attacking civilians”.

“They are using the same methods as the previous regime in dealing with rebels،” he told Reuters، referring to Bashir’s government.

There was no immediate comment from the military on Wednesday’s violence.

Early on Wednesday the military announced a committee would investigate the targeting of protesters after at least four people were killed in violence in Khartoum on Monday.

Weeks of street protests that precipitated the end of Bashir’s 30-year rule on April 11 have continued as the opposition demands that the military hand over power to civilians.

A Reuters witness and Sudanese witnesses said that troops in military vehicles using the logo of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) fired extensively as they tried to clear demonstrators on al-Mek Nimir Avenue in central Khartoum، near the Foreign Ministry.

“People were walking toward the barricades and they (security forces) were firing shots at them،” a 20-year-old demonstrator، who asked not to be named، said، showing a handful of empty bullet casings and referring to road blocks set up by protesters.

The violence took place hours before the Transitional Military Council (TMC)، which took over after overthrowing and jailing Bashir، was due to meet representatives of the umbrella opposition group Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF) to try to hammer out a final deal for the transitional period.

The two sides، which have held talks for several weeks، announced early on Wednesday they had agreed on the composition of a legislative council and the duration of the transition. They said they would continue talks on the key sticking point - the make-up of a sovereign ruling council.

Both sides expressed optimism that they could reach a final deal، with talks expected to resume on Wednesday evening.

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