Sudan: Prime Minister Calls Shooting of Protesters 'Full Fledged Crime'

Khartoum — Sudanese Prime Minister, Abdalla Hamdok has described as "a full-fledged crime in which live ammunition was used against peaceful protesters" the shooting of two demonstrators and injury of dozens others in Khartoum, Tuesday evening.

In a statement carried by the official news agency (SUNA), Hamdok underlined that what happened "could not be overlooked at all nor could one keep mum."

On Tuesday evening, two civilian protesters were shot dead and dozens others injured while demonstrators commemorating the death two years ago of youth camping outside the army headquarters in Khartoum to spur the ouster of Dictator Omar Bashir (1989-2019).

Thousands of young people who were not happy with the ongoing investigations into the killing of at least 150 young men and women, during the protests that ended with the ouster of Bashir, came under fire late evening Tuesday.

The Prime Minister was also critical of the pace of investigations carried out by a committee formed two years ago to probe the shooting and killing of those sit-in protesters in Khartoum and which spurred Tuesday's protest march.

"We urgently call on the committee to make a profound review of its work methodology and approaches" the Prime Minister said in his strong worded statement.

He referred to an emergency meeting which he called for Tuesday evening following the shooting, saying he demanded the Minister of Interior, the Minister for Defense, the Director of the National Intelligence, the Attorney General, the Governor of Khartoum state, the Minister for Information, to speed up procedures and conduct full investigation into what had taken place and bring those responsible to justice "expediently and without delay"

In 2019 a committee was formed headed by a senior legal expert to probe the matter and bring evidence to justice to try the killers. But up to now the committee was still listening to witnesses and gathering information and data.

On Tuesday the army cordoned off the areas and blocked roads leading to its main head offices in Khartoum, in anticipation that protesters would try a new sit-in in the area to commemorate the death of their peers in Ramadan, the holy Muslim fasting month two years ago.

But the thousands of protesters, mostly youth who escaped death that year, managed to break into the cordoned field and enter the same area chanting slogans that denounced the delay and call for speedy trial of those behind the massacre.

It was then that fire was unleashed on the protesters leading to the death of two and injury of dozens others.

The army command issued a statement on Wednesday saying soldiers in the field were not authorized to fire on the protesters and the matter would be investigated and perpetrators be brought to justice.

The incident which spurred hot feelings and strong reaction from the youth was also condemned by political parties and organizations within the executive, calling for dissolution of the partnership between the army and the civilians in the current government.

The United States on Wednesday issued a statement condemning the use of live ammunition against peaceful protesters, calling for a probe and for bringing the authors to court of law.

In a statement it posted on its Facebook account, the embassy of the United States of America in Khartoum said the United States expresses its shock and dismay at the loss of life that occurred last night during demonstrations near armed forces headquarters.

"We condemn the use of live ammunition on peaceful protesters, and call on Sudan's authorities to fully investigate and bring to justice the perpetrators" the statement, the first from a foreign entity since the shooting Tuesday, said.

‎‏It underlined that the United States of America stands in solidarity with the families of the Sudanese men and women who gave their lives two years ago to demand freedom, peace and justice, and call on the authorities to complete their investigation and bring those responsible to justice.

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