Sudan’s paramilitary forces ‘shoot at protesters, kill a man’

Witnesses say incident happened in El-Souk after residents rallied to demand paramilitary forces to leave their town.

Paramilitary Rapid Support Forces soldiers secure the area as they wait for the arrival of Lieutenant General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo before a meeting in Aprag village
RSF soldiers initially shot in the air but later opened fire at the residents, according to witnesses [Umit Bektas/Reuters]

Paramilitary forces backed by Sudan’s ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) have fired at protesters in the southeastern state of Sennar and one man died of a shot to the head, according to medics and witnesses.

The incident occurred in El-Souk in the state of Sinnar on Sunday when residents rallied demanding that members of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) leave the town, witnesses told AFP news agency.

“Residents of the town had gathered outside the office of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) to complain about the RSF,” a witness said.

“RSF members deployed and initially started shooting in the air but later they opened fire at the residents, killing a man and wounding several other people,” said the witness, who declined to be named for security reasons.

A committee of doctors linked to the country’s umbrella protest movement, the Freedom and Change alliance, confirmed the incident.

The resident “was killed by gunshot in his head fired by Rapid Support Forces militia”, it said in a statement, adding that several other people were wounded.

Witnesses said El-Souk residents had gone to the NISS office to complain after the RSF raided a youth club on Saturday during a rally held to mourn the death of demonstrators killed in a Khartoum sit-in on June 3.

“During that rally, the RSF raided a youth club and beat the youths there,” one witness said.

On Saturday, protesters held rallies in several cities and towns across the country, including in Khartoum, to mourn those killed in a raid on a protest camp on June 3 in the capital.

More than 100 demonstrators were killed in the raid that day when armed men in military fatigues cracked down on protesters who had been camping out there for weeks, doctors close to the protesters have said.

RSF commander Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo is the deputy chief of the TMC that seized power after the overthrow of longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir by the military in April following nationwide protests against his rule.

Dagalo has dismissed claims that the RSF was responsible for the deadly June crackdown, saying it was an attempt to distort the image of his force.

Source: AFP