Sudan: Paramilitary Kills Protester While Power-Sharing Hangs in the Balance

Soldiers protect civilian protestors during Khartoum sit-in on 8 April 2019.

One protester was reportedly killed with a bullet to the head and seven others are in critical condition after paramilitary forces in the eastern state of Sennar, Sudan, fired on demonstrators on Sunday, the opposition group Sudan Doctors' Committee said in a statement.

"The spirit of the martyr Anwar Hassan Idris was lifted in the city of al-Suki, Sennar state, after he was wounded by a bullet to the head by the Janjaweed militia," said the SDC, referring to the former name of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

Demonstrators rallied in al-Suki, some 340km southeast of Khartoum, the capital, after watching videos of at least 128 protesters in the capital being killed by the RSF on 3 June, when men in military uniform attacked the sit-in in front of the Defense Ministry in the capital. The military council confirmed 61 deaths.

People outside of the capital are just getting wind of the brutality; the internet service throughout the country was only restored a few days ago.

Meanwhile, the ruling military council and the civilian umbrella opposition group Forces for Freedom and Change is still trying to hammer out a power-sharing agreement that would terminate in three years after elections, creating a transition to civilian rule.

Negotiators on both sides are trying to cement the details of a sovereign council that would include civilians and military officers.

The Military Council is also calling for immunity for officers who killed demonstrators before signing the agreement.

Both sides have agreed on an independent investigation into the 3 June crackdown.

But one faction of the opposition, the Sudanese Communist party, said Saturday it would not agree to the power-sharing pact because it would not be an international investigation. It also said that paramilitary forces would remain, and the party wants the RSF to be abolished.

"We are still debating within the FDFC over the constitutional document. We need to draft out notes in legal form before the meeting," said Sudanese Professionals' Association spokesman Mohammed Yousef al-Mustafa, who spoke to Associated Press newswire.

The opposition had originally met with the ruling military council before the bloody crackdown on 3 June, but immediately suspended talks after the killings. Talks started again after mediation by the African Union and Ethiopia.

Forces for Freedom and Change has requested a 48-hour delay in meeting with the Military Council, according to state news agency SUNA. Talks are slated for Tuesday.

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