Sudan: Ongoing North Kordofan Demos Voice Outrage At Fatal Shooting

Demonstration in Arkaweet, Khartoum on Tuesday against the El Obeid massacre

El Obeid — On Tuesday, protest demonstrations continued in the North Kordofan capital of El Obeid for the second day in a row, condemning the fatal shooting of secondary school students and activists that claimed five lives on Monday.

Witnesses said that the protest demonstrations involving students and the public continued throughout the day in various districts and major markets in the city.

The demonstrations moved towards the homes of the killed students.

On Tuesday afternoon, the demonstrations moved to Freedom Square in El Obeid to a mass meeting organised by the delegation of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) who visited the city in order to console the families of the slain protestors and to comfort the wounded.

The demonstrators were keen to attend the public meeting despite heavy rain in the city. They chanted slogans as "blood for blood", and "We do not accept blood money".

In a speech to the mass meeting Omar El Degeir, leading member of the FFC accused what he called "the counter-revolution by trying to commit genocide on the ground to intimidate the revolutionaries and break their will".

FFC leader Madani Abbas said that what happened in El Obeid was "a crime definitely committed by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) government militia", which is under the direct command of the Deputy Chairman of the Transitional Military Council (TMC), Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan 'Hemeti'.

Abbas considered "the massacre of El Obeid" as an extension of crimes committed by the TMC. He held the members of the junta fully responsible and stressed that "the uprising will continue until the achievement of the goals".

"Infiltrators"

Maj Gen El Sadig El Tayeb, the acting governor of North Kordofan, said that the march of secondary school was peaceful. "The students called for improving transport to the schools, but deviated from their goals after some infiltrators intervened among the students."

He said in an interview with journalists in El Obeid that the infiltrators looted equipment and property from the branch of Bank of Khartoum, and then attempted to break into the French-Sudanese Bank.

The acting governor's claims were echoed in a statement by TMC Chairman, Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, via the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) today.

In the statement, El Burhan described the incidents in El Obeid as "regrettable". He said that the acting governor alleges that the initial rally protesting the transport problems in the town "deviated from its goal and turned to attack the market and banks".

Forces for Freedom and Change

The Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) in North Kordofan has denied the words of the acting state governor who stated at a press conference on Tuesday that due to "frictions" between protestors and paramilitary forces following an attempt by protestors to storm the Bank of Khartoum in El Obeid that sparked opening fire.

Lawyer Osman Saleh, a leading member of the FFC in North Kordofan told Radio Dabanga that many witnesses confirmed that the rally was peaceful. They did not witness any friction with military forces or attempts to storm a bank until the moment the RSF opened fire.

However, he conceded that after the shooting at the rally "individuals who were not students tried to break into the Bank of Khartoum".

Commission of inquiry

The FFC in North Kordofan declared non-recognition of the commission of inquiry set up by the governor to investigate the massacre headed by senior adviser Salah Abdelrahim Hejeir.

Saleh said, "The FFC shall not recognise any commission to be formed by one party".

He stressed the adherence of the FFC to their request to the acting governor on Monday to form a joint commission from the FFC and the authorities in the state to investigate the events.

Saleh also announced the FFC's rejection of the curfew declared by the governor after the deadly incident on Monday and the suspension of school classes in the state.

He said that the curfew declared in the state is contrary to human rights, especially the right of citizens to move.

He explained that the residents of the city did not abide by the curfew; the city witnessed demonstrations from Monday evening until the early hours of Tuesday morning, demanding the punishment of the murderers of demonstrators and the handing over of power by the ruling junta to a civilian-led government.

Nazifa Awad, a doctor at El Obeid Hospital, told Radio Dabanga that the death toll remains at five.

"The number of wounded in El Obeid Hospital alone is 62. Two others were transferred to El Daman Hospital," she said.

The doctor said that four serious cases were transferred to Khartoum. Two of them are in a coma due to gunshots to the head.

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