KHARTOUM, SUDAN – Two other Sudanese protesters died in hospital from their wounds after being shot and killed during mass protests over the weekend against last month’s military coup, a doctors’ union said Monday. .
That brings the death toll from Saturday’s protests to seven, all but one from the gunshots, the Sudan Doctors Committee said. More than 200 others were injured when security forces used live ammunition and tear gas to disperse protesters in the capital Khartoum and its sister city, Omdurman, the committee said.
Sudanese police denied the use of live ammunition, saying their forces only used tear gas to disperse protesters who allegedly attacked police stations and vehicles. They said at least 39 policemen were injured in Saturday’s clashes.
Thousands of pro-democracy protesters took to the streets on Saturday across Sudan to demonstrate against the military takeover last month.
The October 25-year coup overturned a fragile planned transition to democratic government, more than two years after a popular uprising forced the removal of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir and his Islamist government.
The coup drew international criticism and massive protests on the streets of Khartoum and other parts of the country. At least 23 protesters have been killed since 11 October. 25, according to the medical committee.
The committee said the new deaths included 13-year-old Remaaz Hatim al-Atta, shot in the head in front of her family’s home in Khartoum, and Omar Adam, shot in the neck during protests in Khartoum. Both were shot on October 25 and pronounced dead within the past 24 hours, he said.
The demonstrations on Saturday came as the military strengthened its hold on power by appointing a new military-run Sovereign Council. The council, chaired by General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, held its first meeting on Sunday and issued a statement saying that a civilian government would be formed in the coming days.
The council’s appointment heralded the pro-democracy alliance and frustrated the United States and other countries who urged generals to overturn the coup.
Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Molly Phee was in Sudan to push for a solution to the crisis, through the release of government officials and politicians arrested after the coup, the return of Prime Minister Abddalla Hamdok to office and the restoration of his government, according to a statement from the State Department. Hamdok has been under house arrest since the military took over.
Phee’s visit includes meetings with Sudanese leaders from government, political parties and civil society, the statement said.
Cracks, meanwhile, began to emerge among the pro-democracy movement at a request from a group of political parties and movements to return to the pre-coup power-sharing agreement between the protesters and the generals.
The Sudanese Association of Professionals, which led the uprising against al-Bashir, criticized the appeal, insisting that the military completely hand over power to civilians.
The association said it will work with Resistance Committees and other groups that are part of Sudan’s pro-democracy movement to overthrow the military council and establish a civilian government to guide the transition to democracy.