5 Killed as Thousands Rally in Sudan to Demand Civilian Rule

People shout slogans as they march on the streets demanding the ruling military hand over to civilians during a demonstration in Khartoum, Sudan, June 30, 2019. (Reuters News)

KHARTOUM – A Sudanese doctors group says five people have been killed and several seriously wounded in a day of demonstrations against continued military rule in Sudan.

Tens of thousands of protesters rallied across the country Sunday calling for a civilian government nearly three months after the army forced out the long-ruling autocrat Omar al-Bashir.

Marchers demand the generals who took over power from al-Bashir make way for civilians.

The protesters, some of them waving Sudanese flags, chanted “Civilian rule! Civilian rule!” and “Burhan’s council, just fall,” targeting General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, the head of the military council. Security forces fired tear gas at the demonstrators.

“We’re fed up with the military. For decades, this country has been ruled by the military. It didn’t work and it will not work,” one demonstrator said.

Sunday’s protests were the first since June 3 when security forces violently broke up a protest camp in Khartoum. The opposition says at least 128 were killed while the government puts the death toll at 61.

“Despite what they did at the sit-in, despite the people they killed…the revolution will not die in the hearts of the youth,” the demonstrator said.

General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, deputy head of the military council, said the generals want to reach an “urgent and comprehensive agreement with no exclusion. We in the military council are totally neutral. We are the guardians of the revolution. We do not want to be part of the dispute.”

The European Union and several Western countries have called on the generals to avoid bloodshed.

The June 3 raid followed the collapse of talks on a new government, whether it should be led by a civilian or soldier.

Ethiopia and the African Union have offered a plan for a civilian-majority body, which the generals say could be the basis for new negotiations.

Source: VOA NEWS

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