Sudanese Military Thursday fired tear gas and stun grenades at protestors as attempts at a peaceful resolution to unrest have fallen apart. According to a press release from the Khartoum State Resistance Committees, the protestors intended to march from Jackson Station, Al Qandul Square, and the Stadium to the Republican Palace in Khartoum.
Current political turmoil began in April, 2019, after the ouster of the former president of the Republic of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir. Al Bashir has since been indicted for crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for his role in the genocide of the Darfuri ethnic group in Darfur, Western Sudan between 2003 and 2008. After Bashir’s removal from power, the Sudanese Army agreed to share power with civilian groups, such as the Khartoum State Resistance Committees, and codified their agreement in the 2019 Sudanese Constitution. However, in October, 2021m the Sudanese Army staged a coup and seized sole governmental power.
Talks were anticipated to begin last week, facilitated by the United Nations and the African Union, but neither the civilian groups nor the Sudanese Military have agreed to attend peace talks. On Wednesday, May 11th, the Khartoum State Resistance Committees announced a new charter that demands an end to military rule. The charter lays out goals for the civilian protest movement including removing the current military leadership, creating a new constitution, justice for those killed during protests, major military reforms and free and fair democratic elections. According to the Khartoum State Resistance Committees, at least 95 people have been killed since the military coup in October, with many more injured or incarcerated.
In a press release, Khartoum State Resistance Committees expressed its intent to continue protests despite the violence, with a planned rally on May 16, stating:
We call on all those who reject the coup to continue the revolutionary escalation through the various methods of civil and peaceful resistance and to reject settlements that do not meet the aspirations of the Sudanese and do not reflect the goals of the glorious December revolution…On May 16th, we will march with our chants and armed with our peacefulness, which will continue to frighten tyrannical regimes. Tomorrow, we will win our revolution’s battle against the coup authority, and our flag will fly high until we achieve ultimate triumph and bring justice to the revolution’s martyrs; this is our commitment and covenant.
The actions of the Sudanese military have been met with international condemnation including sanctions from the United Nations and the United States.