The United Nations envoy to Sudan on Sunday condemned the deaths of two people in a violent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, who again took to the streets of the capital to denounce last October’s military coup.
Hundreds marched Saturday in Khartoum, where security forces violently dispersed the crowd and chased people through the streets, activists said.
I am appalled by the violent deaths of two young protesters in Khartoum yesterday. Once again: time for the violence to stop, UN envoy Volker Perthes said on Twitter.
The two died in protests in Khartoum’s Kalakla neighborhood. One was shot by security forces and the other died of asphyxiation after inhaling tear gas, according to the Sudan Doctors Committee, which is part of the pro-democracy movement.
Perthes urged military commanders to lift the state of emergency imposed since Oct. 25 and find a peaceful way out of the current crisis.
Sudan has descended into chaos since the military coup ended the brief transition to democracy after three decades of repressive rule by strongman Omar al-Bashir. Al-Bashir and his Islamist-backed government were ousted by the military in a popular uprising in April 2019.
Saturday’s protests were part of ongoing demonstrations over the past seven months calling for the military to hand over power to civilians. At least 98 people have been killed and more than 4,300 injured in the government’s crackdown on the coup since October, according to the medical group.
The protests are calling for the military to relinquish power. However, the generals have said they will only hand over control of the country to an elected government. They say elections will be held in July 2023, as indicated in a constitutional document governing the transition period.
The United Nations, the African Union, and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, a regional group of eight East African countries, have led coordinated efforts to mediate between the two sides and seek a way out of the impasse.