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Sudan attacks protestors in Khartoum sit-in, Omar al-Bashir put on trial

The Sudan security forces have increased their violence against pro-democracy protestors. On Monday, the security forces opened fire at a sit-in outside of military headquarters in Khartoum. This was the main rallying point for the protestors struggle in trying to attain civilian rule. Doctors have confirmed that the death toll has risen to 60, but many others were left wounded.

Omar al-Dukair, the head of the Sudanese Congress Party remarked, “We consider it a statement of coup and a counter-attack on the people’s revolution.”

The military activity in Khartoum has been called a “bloody massacre.” Army ruler Abdel Fattah al-Burhan made a televised statement that negotiations will be cancelled and Sudan’s Transitional Military Council will hold general elections within a nine month period. Al-Burhan believes that the the protestors share fault for the violence on Monday.

A protestor in Khartoum, Mohammad Elmunir, says that security blocked the exits of the before opening fire. There have been multiple reports of police brutality and unsanctioned violence throughout Sudan.

Both the United States and the United Kingdom have expressed concern regarding the violence in Sudan. Amnesty International has called on the UN Security Council to consider taking action and imposing sanctions on TMC members.

The protestors that survived the attack in Khartoum on June 3rd face another difficulty. The TMC has cut off the internet, making it impossible for the Sudanese people to reach out and share their stories with the world.

In the wake of this internet blackout, many people have started using social media to spread awareness and raise donations to help civilians in Sudan. Across Instagram and Twitter, many accounts have gone blue, changing their profile picture to a specific shade that promotes awareness and standing in solidarity with Sudan.  Blue represents Mohammed Hashim Mattar, one of the victims martyred in the shootings in Khartoum.

Sudan is now making efforts to put the former Sudan President Omar al-Bashir on trial. Al-Bashir will be facing chargers for his possession of foreign currency and suspicious acquisition of wealth. In Khartoum, many are skeptical of the timing of the trial, seeing it as an attempt for the TMC to divert attention away from the violence on June 3rd. There is also doubt that the trial will be fair and hold al-Bashir accountable for more deplorable charges against him.

The former President is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity and genocide. The trial conducted by Sudan, however, will focus on charges of violating a decree imposed in February to stifle protestors and a currency crisis. If al-Bashir is found guilty he could be facing 10 or more years in prison.

Protestors are calling for al-Bashir to be charged with money laundering and “ordering the killing of protestors.” Still, the timing of the trial raises suspicion as the TMC tries to refuse accountability and deflect attention from the violence that occurred during the Khartoum sit-in.

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