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Al-Mahdi calls on UN to probe killing of protesters, as Sudan’s demonstrations continue

January 19, 2019 (KHARTOUM) -The leader of the opposition National Umma Party (NUP) al-Sadiq al-Mahdi has called to launch an international probe on the killing of the peaceful demonstrators in Sudan.

Sadiq al-Mahdi speaks to France 24 on 15 March 2018 (ST photo)Large protests have been ongoing across Sudanese cities since 19 December. The demonstrations first began over fuel shortages and a hike in food prices but have now morphed into full-fledged protests calling for President Omar al-Bashir to step down.

The Sudanese government has confirmed the deaths of 24 people in the course of the protests but other credible reports including from Amnesty International suggest the death toll is nearly twice as high.

In a written obituary entitled “A witness on the Grave of two Martyrs”, al-Mahdi said the death toll of the protests has exceeded 40 people following the death of two protesters in Burri suburb on Thursday, 17 January.

“Those protesters weren’t holding arms, but their loud shout was: peaceful, peaceful,” he wrote

He pointed out that defenceless citizens have been injured by tear gas, rubber bullets and live bullets, saying these protesters are just exercising their rights according to the constitution and international human rights conventions.

The veteran leader has casted doubts on the government intentions to probe the killing of the innocent protesters, saying any government move in this regard would lack credibility because the regime will play the role of the opponent and the judge.

“There would be no credibility unless a technical commission from the United Nations launches an investigation on all these atrocities to find out the facts and hold the perpetrators accountable” he added

It is noteworthy the president al-Bashir last month has formed a fact-finding committee chaired by the minister of justice to investigate the incidents that took place during the ongoing protests.

CALLS FOR CONTINUED PROTESTS

Meanwhile, police and security forces on Saturday fired tear gas to disperse protesters at Sudan International University and Al-Razi College in Khartoum arresting several of them.

On the other hand, an umbrella organization of independent professional unions spearheading the anti-government protests that have rocked the country for five weeks, the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), called on the Sudanese to take to streets of Omdurman on Sunday to demand the removal of the regime.

In a statement on Thursday, the SPA called on the protesters to join the “martyrs march” heading from Al-Tigani Almahi Hospital, Siraj bus station and Al-Zhari roundabout to the National Assembly to demand al-Bashir to step down.

(ST)