Sudan death toll climbs to 113 after crackdown on pro-democracy protesters

Sudan death toll climbs to 113 after crackdown on pro-democracy protesters

Sudan's pro-democracy movement vowed Thursday to press its campaign of civil disobedience until the ruling military council is ousted and killers of protesters are brought to justice, as security forces fanned out across the capital and appeared to thwart any new demonstrations.

The African Union suspended Sudan, "until the effective establishment of a civilian-led Transitional Authority, as the only way to allow the Sudan to exit from the current crisis", it said on Twitter.

A key protest group on Saturday announced a nationwide "civil disobedience" campaign it said would run until Sudan's ruling generals transfer power to a civilian government.

The opposition says 113 people were killed in the storming of a civilian protest camp on Monday and a subsequent wider crackdown.

Talks between opposition activists and the ruling interim military council have since broken down.

Meanwhile, the death toll in the military's violent crackdown on protesters reached 100 on Wednesday, organizers said.

The Sudanese Professionals Association yesterday asked people to block main roads and bridges to "paralyse public life" across the country in retaliation for the military crackdown.

Quoting eyewitnesses, CNN had earlier reported that the police and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces fired shots at the protesters, while many law enforcement personnel beat the demonstrators who took to the streets. Russian Federation has largely stayed on the sidelines as Sudanese protesters rallied for months until the military ousted long-time autocrat Omar al-Bashir and took over control. It then kept its sit-in going, demanding that the generals who took power hand over authority to civilians. After his removal, the military indicated that it would prosecute Bashir, but would not extradite him.

Amnesty International called on the African Union and the United Nations to "take immediate action to hold the perpetrators of this violence accountable".

"Forty bodies of our noble martyrs were recovered from the river Nile yesterday", the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors said in a Facebook post.

The head of the military council, General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, had said that the generals were ready to resume negotiations and that there would be "no restrictions" in talks with the leaders behind the months-long street protests.

Although Monday's raid had been followed by protests with roadblocks and fires, normal movement began to return to the Sudanese capital on Thursday. The medical group also said that at least 326 people were wounded in clashes in the past two days.

Sudan has been rocked by unrest since December, when anger over rising bread prices and cash shortages broke into sustained protests that culminated in the armed forces removing Bashir after three decades in office.

Top US envoy David Hale, under secretary of state for political affairs, underlined the importance of a transition to a civilian-led government in a phone call with the Saudi deputy defence minister, Khalid bin Salman, the US Department of State said.

Political analyst Joseph Ochieno told Al Jazeera before the suspension announcement that the emergency meeting was "coming rather late".

The US called on the military rulers to "desist from violence" and urged talks with protesters to resume. Firstly, the necessary acknowledgement by the (Transitional) Military Council of the crimes committed.

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