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Sudan says 31 people killed during anti-government protests

A group of youth protest at Shakappa Sha al-Din village on Khartoum Madani street on 31 January 2019 (ST photo)
February 8, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s attorney general’s office on Thursday said the death toll in the ongoing popular protests has risen to 31.

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 President Omer al-Bashir issued a decree on 31 December 2018 to establish a fact-finding committee headed by the Justice Minister, Mohamed Ahmed Salem, to investigate the anti-government demonstrations.

On Thursday, attorney general Omer Ahmed Mohamed has discussed with the committee the losses of lives and money resulting from the demonstrations.

Following the meeting, the attorney general office said 31 people have been killed during the protests, pointing out that the necessary legal action has been taken on all deaths.

It added the investigation was being carried out swiftly and secretly and with the help of the public, saying any statements about further numbers of killings are nothing but wrong claims.

It is noteworthy that some credible reports including from Amnesty International suggest that more than 40 people have been killed during the protests.

Following the formation of the government fact-finding commission, the opposition forces rejected the move saying it lacks credibility because the regime will play the role of the opponent and the judge simultaneously.

Last month, the leader of the opposition National Umma Party (NUP) al-Sadiq al-Mahdi called on the United Nations to form a technical commission to investigate all atrocities that occurred during the protests to find out the facts and hold the perpetrators accountable.

Also, the foreign relations official of the opposition Sudan Call alliance, Yasir Arman, held meetings in London and Paris on Wednesday and Thursday with British and French envoys to Sudan and South Sudan, Chris Trott and Stéphane Gruenberg.

Arman told Sudan Tribune that during these meetings he asked for the support of Britain and France as permanent members of the Security Council to step up the formation of an international commission of inquiry on the killing of protesters and the need to hold the perpetrators accountable.

(ST)