Deputy head of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North rebel group says he and colleagues were forcibly sent to Juba.
Sudanese security forces attacked a protest camp in the country’s capital, Khartoum, killing dozens of people.
Protest leaders, who are seeking a speedy transition to civilian rule, called the raid a massacre.
Here are the latest updates:
The United States on Wednesday named a special envoy to Sudan to find a “peaceful” solution between demonstrators and generals, as protest leaders demanded “international guarantees” for implementing any agreement reached with the army rulers.
Shops and restaurants meanwhile began to reopen in Sudan’s capital on Wednesday after demonstrators called off a nationwide civil disobedience campaign and agreed to new talks with generals, though many residents remained indoors after last week’s deadly crackdown on protesters that left scores dead.
Diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis – triggered by the June 3 crackdown on protesters – got a boost as Washington nominated experienced Africa hand Donald Booth as a special envoy to Sudan to help craft a “peaceful political solution” between the generals and protesters.
Booth, who previously has served as special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, was already in Khartoum along with Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Affairs Tibor Nagy to “engage with the parties,” State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said.
The UN Security Council on Tuesday strongly condemned the recent violence in Sudan and called on Khartoum’s military rulers and protest movement to work toward a solution to the crisis.
In a unanimous statement, the council called for an immediate halt to the violence against civilians and stressed the importance of upholding human rights.
An Ethiopian envoy says Sudan’s opposition has agreed to suspend its campaign of civil disobedience and a general strike in exchange for concessions from the military.
The strike had brought much activity in Khartoum to a standstill as the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF) alliance tried to pressure Sudan’s ruling military council to relinquish power.
“A number” of soldiers have been taken into custody following the killing of dozens of peaceful protesters in Khartoum last week, the Transitional Military Council (TMC) said.
In a statement published by state-run news agency SUNA, the council said “preliminary evidence” had been found “against a number of elements of the regular forces who were then put in military custody, prior to referring them to the judicial authorities in an urgent manner”.
“The Transitional Military Council affirms that there will be no delay in holding accountable all those found guilty in accordance with the regulations and laws,” it added.
The statement did not specify how many troops were accused, their rank, or what charges they face.
The notorious paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has been accused by protesters of attacking the sit-in.
A doctor’s group said more than 100 demonstrators were shot dead since the outbreak of violence on June 3. The military said 61 people were killed, including three from the security forces.
Digital rights group Netblocks reported “a near-total blackout” of internet coverage in Sudan after it was briefly restored.
Internet connections from telecom firm Sudatel stopped working in the capital, an AFP news agency correspondent said, adding the outage had affected embassies, luxury hotels and offices.
“It’s the first time Sudatel has cut off everything in the country,” a spokesman for Netblocks said. “It was not switching off data centres, more like a digital cutting of all lines.”
Sudan’s opposition plans to nominate eight members of a transitional council and name a prominent economist to head a government, a leader in the alliance of protesters and opposition groups said on Monday.
The plan, which appears to build on a proposal by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed presented during a mediation visit to Khartoum last week, could help break a deadlock between the TMC and the civilian opposition in efforts to agree on a transition to democracy.
Abiy visited Khartoum on a mediation mission in which he proposed a 15-member transitional council consisting of eight civilians and seven army officers to lead the country to democracy.
The top US diplomat for Africa will visit Sudan this week to meet with the ruling TMC and the country’s civilian opposition to urge talks, the US Department of State said on Monday.
Talks between the two collapsed last week when security forces stormed a sit-in that had been the focal point of Sudan’s protest movement for nearly two months.
Tibor Nagy, US assistant secretary for Africa, will also discuss a political solution for Sudan during a visit to Ethiopia, whose Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has tried to mediate between the military council and the protest movement.
The TMC has announced that it will publish the findings of an inquiry following the dispersal of the sit-in within 72 hours.
In a statement on Facebook, the TMC said it would release fact findings following “the incidents that accompanied the security operation that was carried out to raid Colombia [an area nicknamed thus because of alleged criminal activity] and its impact on the sit-in area”.
The statement said that the TMC had “no desire to disband” the protest sit-in site.
“The joint commission inquiry concluded that there was preliminary evidence pointing to the involvement of a number of members of the regular forces,” the TMC said. “Accordingly they were placed in the military custody in order to try them in front of the judicial bodies.”
The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) rebel group said three of its members were deported after they were arrested last week in the wake of a deadly raid on the protest sit-in.
Yassir Arman, SPLM-N deputy head, was detained last Wednesday after returning from exile following al-Bashir’s removal.
The two others, SPLM-N secretary-general Ismail Jallab and spokesman Mubarak Ardol, were arrested after meeting Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as he tried to mediate between the TMC and civilian opposition.
A statement from SPLM-N chairman Malik Agar said the three officials had been deported in a military plane to Juba, South Sudan’s capital.
“This happened despite their rejection of the forceful deportation,” the statement said, adding that the move showed the military council’s intention “not to hand power to the civilians and not to reach peace”.
At least four people have been killed on the first day of a civil disobedience campaign, according to a doctors’ group linked to demonstrators.
Two people were shot dead in the capital Khartoum and its twin city Omdurman, said the Central Committee for Sudanese Doctors (CCSD), adding that two others died in a hospital in Omdurman after being stabbed and beaten, blaming paramilitary forces for the deaths.
It said a total of 118 people have been killed since a crackdown was launched on June 3 to disperse a sit-in outside the military headquarters in Khartoum.
Sudanese police fired tear gas at protesters taking part in the first day of a civil disobedience campaign, which demonstrators said will end only after the TMC transfers power to a civilian government.
Protesters gathered tyres, tree trunks and rocks to build new roadblocks in Khartoum’s northern Bahari district but riot police swiftly moved in and fired tear gas.
“Almost all internal roads of Bahari have roadblocks. Protesters are even stopping residents from going to work,” said a witness.
Eric Reeves, a Sudan researcher at Harvard University, told Al Jazeera the arrest of two senior opposition figures in Khartoum by security forces would complicate negotiations between the TMC and opposition groups.
“The Transitional Military Council is not really serious about negotiating with civilians. This could not have been more blatant in the eye of the opposition and it certainly paralyses any effort to move forward in negotiations,” Reeves said.
“The TMC did, however, achieve one thing and that is to create division within the civilian opposition – between those who will not negotiate with the TMC under any conditions and those who will engage with the TMC, but with conditions. It is a very confusing situation, a very divisive one,” he added.
Sudanese security forces arrested two opposition leaders shortly after they met Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed during reconciliation talks in Khartoum.
Opposition politician Mohamed Esmat was arrested on Friday soon after his meeting with Abiy, while a leader of the rebel SPLM-N, Ismail Jalab, was arrested at his residence early on Saturday, their aides told AFP news agency, adding that SPLM-N spokesperson Mubarak Ardol was also detained.
Esmat and Jalab are leading members of the Freedom and Change alliance, which brings together opposition parties and groups with the organisers of the mass protests in Sudan.
Read more here.
A spokesperson for Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has told reporters that Abiy has endorsed two envoys to continue mediation efforts following his visit to Sudan.
“The prime minister has endorsed ambassador Mohammad Dirdiry on behalf of Ethiopia to represent him as a special envoy, as well as a special envoy from the African Union,” Belina Thiom said.
“They [the two envoys] will be staying within the course of the next two days to have further in-depth discussions with both parties and ensure that … decisions that have been confirmed today will come to fruition over the next few days,” she said.
Friday, June 7:
Sudan’s main alliance of opposition groups and protesters says it accepts Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as a mediator in their political deadlock with the TMC, under certain conditions.
Among opposition demands are that the TMC take responsibility for the deadly dispersal of a protest sit-in on Monday, an international investigation into the incident is launched and political prisoners are released.
Read more here.
The UN human rights office is seeking to send a monitoring team to Sudan to investigate alleged violations during this week’s military crackdown, agency spokesman Rupert Colville told Al Jazeera on Friday.
“We have made a formal request to the government to get the UN human rights monitoring team into the country as quickly as possible,” Colville said.
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed arrived in Khartoum to spearhead mediation efforts between the military and opposition leaders.
Abiy met members of the TMC and is expected to hold talks with the opposition Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF) later in the day.
TMC spokesman Lieutenant-General Shams al-Din Kabashi received Ahmed at Khartoum International Airport for the one-day visit, before he met military leader Lieutenant-General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.
Speaking at a press conference, UN secretary-general’s deputy spokesman, Farhan Haq, told the Sudanese military to respect basic human rights.
“We have urged restraint from the security forces and … that the government respect … basic human rights of the people, including freedom of expression and freedom of assembly,” said Haq.
The AU has suspended Sudan after the military launched a bloody crackdown on protesters.
The AU’s Peace and Security Department said in a post on Twitter that Sudan’s participation in all of the body’s activities would be suspended with immediate effect – “until the effective establishment of a civilian-led transitional authority” as the only way to “exit from the current crisis”.
Read more here.
Russia said it opposed foreign intervention in Sudan and that authorities in Khartoum must subdue what it described as “extremists”, Russia’s RIA news agency reported.
The Russian foreign ministry also said it supported the holding of elections in Sudan.
“Naturally, in order to do that, you need for order to be imposed, and you need to fight against extremists and provocateurs who don’t want the stabilisation of the situation,” Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov was quoted as saying.
The UN announced it was pulling personnel out of Sudan because of the ongoing violence.
“There will still be some staff on hand to perform critical functions but because of security, some … are being relocated temporarily,” said UN spokesman Farhan Haq, who provided no details on the number of staff being moved, timelines, or how many would remain.
Haq did clarify that staff being relocated were civilians and no uniformed personnel were leaving.
The AU will convene an emergency meeting on the violence in Sudan, which comes after the AU condemned the crackdown on protesters on Monday.
AU Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat called for an “immediate and transparent investigation” to hold those responsible for the bloodshed accountable and called on the military to protect civilians from further harm.
Health ministry says death toll from violence is 61
A health ministry official said the death toll from Monday’s crackdown was now 61, up from the figure of 46 given by the TMC.
Suleiman Abdel Jabbar told Reuters news agency of the 61 documented cases, 52 were from the capital Khartoum and included 49 civilians killed by gunfire and three security personnel who died from stab wounds. The rest were from other provinces.
The update came after an opposition-linked doctors’ group said at least 108 people had lost their lives in the violence.
The US has urged the TMC to “desist from violence”, and the resumption of talks with protesters.
Department of State spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement that Washington “condemns the recent attacks on protesters in Sudan” and called for a “civilian-led transition that leads to timely elections and free expression of the will of the Sudanese people”.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is monitoring developments in Sudan with great concern and supports dialogue between the parties, its foreign ministry said in a statement.
“The UAE hopes that … constructive dialogue would prevail between all Sudanese parties, in a way that guarantees security and stability of Sudan, helps spare its people … and ensure its unity,” said the statement published by the state news agency WAM.
The deputy head of the TMC said the body has begun a “fair and independent” investigation into the violent break-up of the Khartoum sit-in and other clashes.
“The council has initiated an independent investigation … with fast results,” said General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, better known as Hemeti, said in a televised address.
Hemeti leads the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) that has been accused by protesters of attacking the sit-in.
The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors (CCSD) said 40 bodies were retrieved from the Nile River on Tuesday, a day after the attack on the Khartoum sit-in.
In a Facebook post, the committee said the bodies had been taken to an unknown location by the RSF. The figure brings the death toll since Monday’s raid to 100.
The CCSD also said there was a “total internet outage” in Sudan.
Sudanese protest leaders dismissed General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan’s call for negotiations, saying the military cannot be serious about dialogue while troops were shooting and killing protesters.
Mohammed Yousef al-Mustafa, a spokesman for the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), said protesters “totally reject” al-Burhan’s gesture.
Madani Abbas Madani, a leader of the DFCF, told Reuters: “We do not accept the Transitional Military Council’s invitation … because it is not a source of trust … It is imposing fear on citizens in the streets.”
Saudi Arabia called for the resumption of dialogue between Sudan’s various political forces, expressing concern over a bloody crackdown on protesters.
“The government of Saudi Arabia has followed with great concern the developments … which resulted in a number of deaths and injuries,” said the statement on the official Saudi Press Agency.
“The kingdom affirms the importance of resuming the dialogue … to fulfil the aspirations of the brotherly Sudanese people.”
A senior Sudanese rebel leader who returned to Khartoum to take part in talks with the military has been arrested, a spokesman for his movement said.
Yasir Arman, deputy chief of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), was seized from his lodgings in Khartoum by armed men in pick-up trucks who surrounded the building, the spokesman said.
“They took him without clarifying to us the place [they would take him to] and said they were from the National Intelligence and Security Service,” said Mubarak Ardol, adding that the armed men “beat” Arman and his assistant and destroyed surveillance cameras outside the house.
The number of people killed since the security forces’ raid on the sit-in in central Khartoum jumped to at least 60, the CCSD, a doctors group linked to the protest movement, has said.
The death toll had earlier been put at 35.
Read more here
The TMC offered to resume a dialogue on a transition to democracy – one day after the council scrapped all agreements with the opposition alliance.
In a message for the Eid al-Fitr broadcast on state television, Lieutenant-General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan paid homage to the uprising – which culminated in the military overthrow and arrest of al-Bashir – and said he was still ready to hand over power to an elected government.
The US, Norway and the UK issued a joint statement condemning the Sudanese security forces for their violent attacks on protesters which killed dozens this week.
The statement said the TMC “has put the transition process and peace in Sudan in jeopardy” by ordering such attacks on protesters.
It also expressed concerns the council had halted negotiations with protest leaders and cancelled all previous agreements.
China, backed by Russia, has blocked a bid at the UN Security Council to condemn the killing of civilians in Sudan and issue a pressing call from world powers for an immediate halt to the violence, diplomats said
During a closed-door council meeting, Britain and Germany circulated a press statement that would have called on Sudan’s military rulers and protesters to “continue working together towards a consensual solution to the current crisis,” according to the draft seen by AFP news agency.
Read more here.
The UK-based Sudanese Doctors Union has accused security forces of attacks on hospitals across the country and alleged women had been raped in Khartoum.
“Hospitals have been systematically attacked and medical staff have been brutally … savagely beaten in Sudan,” Husam Elmugamar told a news conference at the Royal College of Pathologists in London.
Hashim Mukhtar said a number of “women have been raped in one of the nearby neighbourhoods to the headquarters of the military council,” without giving details or saying how the group had learned of the assaults.
At least two people have been killed in clashes between protesters and security forces in the capital, according to Sudanese protest organisers.
The CCSD said a woman was hit by a stray bullet in her home, while Nazim Sirraj, a leading activist, said a child, 14, was shot in clashes in Khartoum’s Haj Yousef neighbourhood.
The Democratic Alliance of Lawyers has urged “some Arab countries” not to interfere in Sudanese affairs and to drop their support for the TMC.
“We ask that some Arab countries lift their hands from Sudan and to stop supporting the Military Council and consolidating the pillars of its rule with the aim of preserving it and protecting their own interests that are harmful to the Sudanese state and its citizens,” said the Alliance, which is part of the SPA.
The group’s comments appeared to be aimed at Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt, who analysts say are trying to consolidate their influence in Sudan following the overthrow of al-Bashir.
Human Rights Watch has called on the UN to launch an “impartial, independent” investigation into the Sudanese military’s crackdown on protesters, saying the “egregious rights violations” during the raid required urgent international action.
Jehanne Henry, associate Africa director at HRW, said: “Key international actors should impose targeted punitive sanctions against those responsible for the violence and urgently establish a UN inquiry.”
Sudan’s opposition has rejected a plan by the TMC to hold elections within nine months, a day after a deadly crackdown on protesters, the worst violence since the removal of al-Bashir in April.
At least 35 people were killed on Monday when security forces stormed a protest camp outside the army headquarters in central Khartoum, according to the CCSD.
The main protest organisers, the SPA, accused the security forces of perpetrating “a massacre” when they raided the camp amid heavy gunfire.
Read more here
Sudan’s military will cancel all previous agreements with the main opposition coalition, the head of the TMC said in a televised statement, following deadly violence in Khartoum after security forces moved to disperse a sit-in protest outside the army headquarters.
Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said that the coalition was equally responsible for the delay in coming to an agreement and that elections would be held within nine months.
Read more here
Al-Waleed Saeed Ahmed, Sudan’s public prosecutor, has ordered an immediate investigation into Monday’s raid on the sit-in, according to the state-run Suna news agency.
The SPA has called on supporters to take part in marches across the country and block main roads to “paralyse public life”.
In a Twitter post, the SPA said “total civil disobedience” was the only way to force the TMC to cede power.
كما ندعو المواطنين ولجان الأحياء تكوين فرق لحماية الأحياء وتقديم الخدمات للمحتاجين من الأهالي.
تنفيذ العصيان المدني الشامل والإضراب السياسي هو الطريق إلى إسقاط طغمة المجلس العسكري الانقلابي المجرم وجهاز أمنه وكتائب ظله ومليشيات جنجويده، واستكمال ثورة شعبنا المجيدة.
— تجمع المهنيين السودانيين (@AssociationSd) June 3, 2019
An opposition-linked doctors’ committee said the number of people killed in the dispersal of the Khartoum protest camp “has risen to more than 30”.
The CCSD said hundreds of people have also been wounded, many by gunfire.
Amnesty International has called on the UN Security Council to consider imposing sanctions on members of the TMC.
Sarah Jackson, the group’s deputy regional director for East Africa, said the UN body “must consider targeted sanctions on members of the TMC and others involved in the attack”.
Antonio Guterres, UN secretary-general, has condemned violence and reports of excessive use of force by Sudanese security forces on civilians, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.
Expressing alarm at reports that security forces opened fire inside medical facilities, Guterres urged all parties “to act with utmost restraint”.
He also called unimpeded access to deliver care at the sit-in site as well as hospitals where the wounded are treated, and for the Sudanese authorities to facilitate “an independent investigation into the deaths and to hold those responsible accountable,” Dujarric said.
The deadly military crackdown on Sudanese protesters has prompted global concern. The US has described the assault as “wrong”, while the African Union, Egypt, Germany and Qatar urged protest leaders and the TMC to return to negotiations
The UK warned the TMC the international community “will hold it to account” over Monday’s violence.
Read more here
The CCSD said the TMC has killed another four protesters, including an eight-year-old child. This brings the death toll to 13, with more than 116 others wounded.
However, separate medical sources have said the death toll is at least 24.
The CCSD also said that according to witnesses, bodies of protesters shot dead by the TMC were disposed of in the Nile River near the site of the protest sit-in, and could be seen floating in the water.
Weeks after the removal of al-Bashir as president of Sudan, the fight for civilian rule continues as the TMC refuses to give in to the protesters’ demand to hand over power.
The TMC, led by Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, says it will oversee a transitional period that will last a maximum of two years.
Here are six things to know about the unrest.
Sudan’s opposition alliance said on Monday it was halting all contact and negotiations with the country’s military council after security forces launched a deadly raid on a protest sit-in.
The DFCF had been in talks with the TMC – which took over from al-Bashir in April – but negotiations have stalled in recent weeks.
The number of people killed in a raid by security forces on a sit-in site in Khartoum has risen to nine, the CCSD said.
“The number of peaceful protesters killed is increasing rapidly, which makes it hard to count and identify them timely,” the committee said in a statement.
TMC spokesman Shams al-Din Kabashi told Al Jazeera security forces did not target the sit-in site.
“What is going on is targeting Colombia [an area nicknamed thus because of alleged criminal activity] adjacent to the sit-in area and not targeting the sit-in. Dangerous groups infiltrated among the protesters in the sit-in area,” Kabashi said.
The CCSD said security forces were firing live ammunition inside East Nile Hospital in Khartoum.
Security forces chased peaceful protesters inside the hospital’s compound, the doctors’ committee added.
A leader of Sudan’s protest movement called the storming by security forces of a protest camp in central Khartoum a “coup” against the uprising that overthrew al-Bashir.
“We will confront it by escalating protests, marches and full civil disobedience,” said Khalid Omar Yousef, a leader of the DFCF.
A spokesman for the TMC told Reuters news agency that he expects talks on the civilian transition to resume “today or tomorrow”.
Heavy gunfire was heard in Khartoum as security forces moved in to clear a protest camp that has been the central point in the demonstrators’ months-long struggle for civilian rule.
The CCSD, a medical group linked to protesters, said at least five people were killed and several wounded in the Monday morning raid, which was still in progress.
Read more here about the events of April 2019 that led to the removal of Omar al-Bashir as Sudan’s president.