Sudan: Military Council - A Number of Military Personnel Arrested for Trail in Connection With Killing of Civilians a Week Ago

The Transitional Military Council on Monday said a number of military personnel have been arrested in connection with the recent bloody attack on pro-democracy protesters that left over sixty, mostly young civilians, dead

A communiqué by the Military Council said a joint committee it formed following the June 3rd dawn raid which was supposed to disperse protesters without using excessive power ended up with shooting on the protesters and using live ammunition that left score dead and drawing wide local and foreign condemnation, has come out with solid evidence on who was responsible.

It said a joint investigation committee was formed and began its tasks immediately after its formation and reached preliminary evidence against a number of elements from the regular forces who were then placed in military custody, prior to referring them to the judicial authorities in an urgent manner for trial.

The joint investigation committee included the Military Judiciary, the Attorney General, the Security, Police and the Rapid Support Forces.

The Sudanese Ministry for Health has officially acknowledged the death of at least 61 persons, including three soldiers and one officer, in the commotion and shoot out. But the opposition said it believed "hundreds" were killed and injured and said it holds the council responsible. The Military council denied responsibility and promised to investigate the matter, promptly.

"The full details of the findings will be made public within 72 hours" the Council promised.

The communiqué stressed that the committee was formed within framework of the promise which was made by the Transitional Military Council to the Sudanese people to keep them inform about all the facts related to this event that accompanied the operation carried out to clear the illegal practice, known as Columbia area, and its impact on the sit-in around the General Command.

"The Transitional Military Council affirms that there will be no delay in bringing to court of law anyone found guilty in accordance with the regulations and laws." The release said.

The president of the Council, Lieutenant General Abdul Fatah Al Burahn, expressed his sympathy and apologies for the shooting of civilians and said it was not intended to shoot or kill those who were staging the sit in, but it was, he argued, the assessment of those in the field who led to that situation.

The Forces for Freedom and Change, said they will not sit for talks with the council until an independent committee is formed and those responsible for the death of their colleagues are brought to justice

The operation started in the early hours of June the 3rd. the plan, the council said later, was to clear an area adjacent to the sit in, known as Colombia-because of the drug and other illegal practice committed there, from thugs without at the same time interfering with those in the sit in area.

However when the operation started, the thugs, in hundred rushed to the sit in areas and intermingled with the peaceful civilian protesters. It was in that early hours of Ramadan-fasting Muslim month. Most of the youth were asleep at the time or in siesta.

The result was a massacre of innocent civilians who came to the army headquarters to protest the practice of Bashir's government and at the same time take refugee under the protection of the army, from a possible paramilitary or security reprisal.

The sit in drew all sorts of people including those thugs that started harassing passersbys and frustrating all activities in downtown Khartoum. The military exasperated by these practices agreed to clear the area, with the consent of the revolutionary leaders themselves.

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