Accessibility links

Breaking News

Protesters in Khartoum Demand Justice for Massacre Victims

Sudanese protesters chant slogans during a rally calling for the former ruling party to be dissolved and for ex-officials to be put on trial in Khartoum, Sudan, Oct. 21, 2019.

Thousands of people marched in Khartoum and other Sudanese cities Monday to mark the October 1964 uprising that ended the dictatorship of Ibrahim Aboud. The protesters, however, focused on the present, and made demands that stem from the recent ouster of former leader Omar al-Bashir.

They used the occasion to call for an independent investigation into the massacre on June 3, 2019, when dozens of people were killed as military forces cleared pro-democracy protesters away from the Defense Ministry in Khartoum.

Monday's demonstrations were backed by the Sudanese Professionals Association, which organized the protests that swept Bashir from power earlier this year. But they were initially organized by neighborhood committees and the families of the June 3rd victims.

Protester Najlaa Mohamed, crying and holding a Sudanese flag, said she is pessimistic the current military-civilian ruling council will get justice for the victims.

She added that protesters reject any kind of military representation in the new transitional government.

In addition, protester Ahmed Nasser says Bashir, who is facing corruption charges, needs to also be punished for his dictatorial 30-year rule.

The dissolution of the National Sudanese Congress Party — which supported Bashir for decades — was another of the protesters' demands.

Sudanese demonstrators march during a protest in the capital Khartoum, Oct. 21, 2019.
Sudanese demonstrators march during a protest in the capital Khartoum, Oct. 21, 2019.

However, the Freedom and Change Alliance published a communique asking the protesters to drop that idea, warning that chaos could erupt if Bashir supporters attacked the protest.

Ahead of the march in Khartoum, Sudan's military published a communique warning protesters and citizens not to get close to army headquarters and military facilities. Troops were deployed across the capital to protect strategic locations.

Sudan erupted in mass protests in December 2018 over high bread prices, but the demonstrations quickly morphed into calls for Bashir to step down.

A power-sharing agreement between the generals who ousted Bashir and protest leaders was signed in August to end eight months of turmoil and to lead the country until elections are held in 2022.