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Sudan military council denies ordering bloody attack on civilians

RSF elements beat a civilian laying on the ground in the Nile Street on Saturday 1 June 2019 (ST photo)
June 15, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The Transitional Military Council (TMC) said its spokesperson and head of political committee did not say that the attack on the site of protest had been ordered by the ruling council.

In a press conference held on Thursday, Shams al-Din Kabbashi admitted the killing of over 100 protesters was committed by army officers who were dispatched to "clean" another area not far from the sit-in area.

"There were deviations from the initial plans put forward by the military leadership. There were abuses and happened what happened," he said.

"Some media recently reported wrong statements attributed to the press conference organized by the Transitional Military Council’s political committee on Thursday that the Council had ordered the sit-in to be forcibly removed from outside the army headquarters".

"The Transitional Military Council, which regrets this harmful reporting, confirms its keenness to uncover the real truth about what happened at the sit-in area through the investigation committee, which was formed from legal and professional officials with wide experience," stressed the statement.

Activists who survived the attacks and witnesses but also videos show that the thousands of troops that arrived on hundreds of vehicles launched the raid on the sit-in and opened fire on the peaceful protesters.

SEPARATE FORCE

The TMC’s investigation committee had to announce the findings of its investigations on the embracing assault on Saturday.

However, for the second time, the committee delayed sine die the release of its conclusions on this bloody attack. Initially, it had to publish it on Thursday.

Instead; Abdel-Rahim Badr al-Din Abdel-Rahim, the spokesman for the Military Investigation Committee on Saturday confirmed that a number of army officers of various ranks were responsible for the attack.

The assailants "were not part of the force dispatched to clean the area of Columbia. Their raid on the sit-in area was carried out without instructions from the competent authorities," he stressed.

This statement contradicts with what Khabbashi said on Thursday as he said some of the army officers raided the sit-in violating the TMC’s instructions and they were arrested.

Columbia is the name of an area near the Nile River, the government said there were armed gangs and criminal activities.

The attack was a turning point in the negotiations between the TMC and the opposition groups which had suspended talks and declared a general strike in the country.

Also, the attack triggered the suspension of Sudan membership in the African Union and the Ethiopian indirect mediation between the parties as a result of the distrust created by the attack.

(ST)