October 8, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The governor of Khartoum state, Abdel Rahman Al-Khidir, said more than 60 people died during the recent wave of protests, adding that investigations are continuing to identify those involved in the killings.
The ministry of interior previously announced that only 33 protesters were killed in Khartoum and one in Wad Madani, in central Sudan. However, activists and opposition parties say the true death toll may reach as high as 200 people.
In a briefing to the representatives of political parties participating in the national government on Tuesday, Al-Kidir said the death toll varies between 60 to 70 victims killed during the anti-austerity protests which took place in the capital from 21 to 25 September.
He said the figure had been revised after an inventory conducted by the ministry of health including hospitals and morgues.
He claims social media websites had fuelled the demonstrations, accusing rebel groups, some leftist parties and “activists of Facebook” of taking part in the killing protesters.
“All clues point to the involvement in these events of the armed movements that have not signed peace agreements, the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) and some leftist parties”, he said.
The governor said the demonstrations, which erupted following the lifting of subsidies on fuel and other basic commodities, had been well-organised by certain quarters, with rioters targeting specific locations such as police stations, fuel stations and transportation.
He said police would conduct an investigation to determine those responsible for the deaths of protesters, adding that its findings will be filed to the judiciary.
He also said that any person arrested during the protests and found not to be involved in acts of sabotage would be released from custody.
Sudanese authorities said over 600 people were arrested during the demonstrations, with court hearings currently underway. Many of those who were detained during the protests say they were apprehended from their homes and were not taking part in the demonstrations.