Protesters demanding a civilian rule to be implemented in Sudan were violently repressed by military forces, last month, in a massacre that was condemned by the UN.
On June 3rd, thousands of Sudanese protesters – who were staging a sit-in in front of the Army’s headquarters in the capital Khartoum – were violently broken up by military forces leaving over a hundred people, including children, dead or injured. Approximately 40 bodies were pulled from the Nile River following the attack.
Protesters were demanding that the government should be turned into democratic civilian rule. Currently, the Transitional Military Council (TMC) is governing Sudan. They took power when President Omar al-Bashir was ousted in a military coup after a 30 year presidency, following mass protests towards the end of his reign.
However, the people of Sudan lost trust in the TMC governing the country. They believed the government should be civilian led, causing protests which eventually led to the massacre.
As well as people being killed there have also been assaults, rapes and sexual assaults happening to men and women. Sudanese children have been killed, detained and sexually abused.
One person who was killed in the massacre was Mohamed Mattar, a London’s Brunel University graduate. He was protecting two women at the protest when he was shot. He has become a known figure of the massacre, with many people turning their profile pictures a steel blue as it was his favourite colour. This blue has also become a symbol of solidarity for the Sudan protests.
While there has been a rise in the media coverage of the protests and the massacre in the last couple of weeks, there has been very little ‘western media’ coverage. The spotlight was shone on the situation when singer Rihanna posted about the massacre and the violence happening in Sudan on her Instagram; from here the media coverage and awareness about the situation has risen drastically.
Recently, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, called on Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC) to allow an investigation into the bloody crackdown. About a week after the event, protesters came back to continue the sit-in, after the country’s military rulers admitted that abuses were committed during the attack of the camp.
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Image courtesy of Getty/Brendan Smialowski/AFP