Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir charged over killing of protesters

Prosecutor says former president charged as security forces reportedly open fire on sit-in, wounding at least 10.

Sudan Omar al-Bashir
Omar al-Bashir was removed from power after nearly four months of anti-government protests [Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters]

Sudan‘s former President Omar al-Bashir was charged “with inciting and participating” in the killing of protesters during the mass protests that lead to the end of his decades-long rule, as security forces reportedly opened fire on demonstrators with live rounds.

At least 10 people were wounded by gunfire late Monday near a protest sit-in in the capital Khartoum. Some of the injured were in serious condition, local doctors said.

Gunfire could be heard near the centre of Khartoum after security and paramilitary forces clashed with protesters who had been blocking roads.

The prosecutor general’s announcement on Monday came with few details about the case against al-Bashir.

“Omar al-Bashir and others have been charged for inciting and participating in the killing of demonstrators,” the prosecutor general’s office said.

Earlier this month, the prosecutor general ordered al-Bashir to be interrogated on charges of money laundering and financing of “terrorism”.

There has been no comment from al-Bashir since his removal and arrest on April 11. The former president is reportedly being held at the maximum security Kobar prison in Khartoum.

Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan, reporting from the capital, said a committee of doctors estimate at least 100 people were killed by security forces since protests began last December. 

“A lot of them were shot as they were trying to run from the live ammunition fired by security forces,” she said.

The prosecutor’s office highlighted, in particular, the killing of Babiker Abdul Hameed, a 27-year-old doctor who was killed on January 19, “as he was trying to give medical assistance to protesters”, said Morgan.

“He was shot dead in front of witnesses.” 

Huge crowds remain camped outside the military headquarters in central Khartoum, vowing to force the military council that replaced al-Bashir to cede power.

Lieutenant-General Shams al-Din Kabashi, spokesman for the military council, said the generals met with protest leaders on Monday and agreed on the structure of transitional bodies. Their make-up would be addressed in further talks a day later, he said.

“We discussed the structure of the transitional authority and agreed on it completely, and we also agreed on the system of governance in the transitional period,” he said.


Taha Osman, spokesman for the protest movement, known as the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF), confirmed the development to AFP news agency.

“At today’s meeting we agreed on the structure of the authorities and their powers,” said Osman.  

“The authorities are as follows – the sovereign council, the cabinet and the legislative body. Tomorrow the talks will continue to discuss the period of transition and the composition of the authorities.”

Sudanese protesters burn tyres and barricade the road leading to al-Mek Nimir Bridge [Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/ Reuters]
Sudanese protesters burn tyres and barricade the road leading to al-Mek Nimir Bridge [Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/ Reuters]

The DFCF said late on Sunday it hoped to secure commitments to a swift transfer of power in the three-day talks.

The military council and the protesters are at loggerheads over the make-up of the interim body. The generals have proposed that the new council be military-led, while protest leaders want a majority civilian body.

The protesters have vowed to continue demonstrations, centred on the sit-in outside the military headquarters and called for a series of nationwide protests, including another march to the main sit-in, in the coming week.

Earlier on Monday, Sudanese police and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces used tear gas to disperse dozens of protesters in the Khartoum North neighbourhood.

The troops also removed barriers protesters had set up on a road leading to al-Mek Nimir Bridge, a main artery of Khartoum. There were no reports of casualties. 

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies