Sudan dictatorship shoots patients in hospitals

This 2 June 2019 video says about itself:

Gunfire as Sudan military moves in to clear Khartoum sit-in

Gunfire as Sudan military moves in to clear Khartoum sit-in: Troops have used tear gas and fired on protesters camped out at the army headquarters in Sudan’s capital Khartoum.

Multiple injuries have been reported. The Sudanese Professionals Association says the military council has assigned a large number of troops to disperse the protest. Demonstrators say people are still coming from all over Sudan to join the sit-in. We speak to a number of protesters on the phone to update us on the situation.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Eyewitnesses: “Sudanese militia entered hospitals and opened fire”

The stories of eyewitnesses come from the Sudanese capital Khartoum. Early this morning, paramilitaries attacked a tent camp of protesters in front of the military headquarters. The paramilitaries set fire to tents, beat up protesters, and shot the crowd with live ammunition. According to Associated Press, at least 13 people were killed and 116 injured.

On Friday, army leaders already warned that they would take action against the protesters who had been sitting every day for weeks near the army headquarters for weeks. …

Various sources tell the NOS that after that operation militia units have spread throughout the capital. They go from neighbourhood to neighbourhood and shoot at targeted groups to drive people off the streets. The sources report that snipers are on the roofs of buildings to prevent new demonstrations. Armed men have invaded a hospital and have opened fire there, say several sources.

“Can you hear the gunshots?” Mohamed Salman has just stepped outside to talk to the NOS via his mobile phone. But on the street it’s too dangerous, so he goes back inside quickly. “They arrived in my neighbourhood with many vehicles. They took positions and started to disperse small groups of people by shooting in the air and firing tear gas. I have spoken to friends in other neighbourhoods who say there aree no warning shots, only shots aimed at people.”

What happened this morning on the square in front of the military headquarters is gradually becoming clearer. Cars with armed men arrived in the square before dawn. They came from two sides of the square and surrounded the demonstrators. The men fired tear gas from one side, while shots were fired from the other direction.

Beaten and shaved

While people tried to flee, the armed men beat up protesters. “Some demonstrators – those who have dreadlocks – were shaved by the men,” Salman says on the phone.

Who are the armed men? “They are two organizations”, says Sudanese Ahmed Abushaam, who lives in the Netherlands. He explains who he means: the Sudanese secret service, and the Rapid Support Forces, the paramilitary organisation formerly called the Janjaweed, but which changed its name after the civil war in Darfur where they played a notorious role. “This is exactly how the Janjaweed operates. What they used to do in Darfur, they now do in our capital,” said Abushaam.

“We are not at all safe,” says demonstrator Abdelmonim Ali, who fled into a house on one of the outskirts of Khartoum. “We have a wounded person with us. We can’t go anyway because the snipers walk over the roofs of all the buildings on this street.”

Another demonstrator tells his story to the NOS: “The attacks started at 5 o’clock in the morning. We were on the street, but all had to flee in different direction and so I lost sight of my friends and fellow protesters. Many people I know were injured, but when I went to see the hospital there were also shots. I had to leave the building quickly and went back to my own hiding place. At the moment I see on Facebook that more and more people are revolting. In villages around the capital, people are actually taking to the streets, even if it is dangerous to do that. People are motivated by this to fight on and to rebel.”

The demonstrations that have been taking hold of Sudan for months have flared up again in recent weeks after negotiations between the army and the opposition hit an impasse. The army top brass wants to take the lead in an interim government that should provide for economic recovery and democratic elections. The opposition demands leadership by itself, and fears that senior military officers will find a way to keep the deposed President Bashir’s party in power for the long term.

Why the paramilitaries have intervened today is not certain, but several sources point to the trip abroad that Commander Hemedti made at the end of May. Hemedti, Bashir’s former right-hand man, has just returned from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. These three countries have promised billions in support for the Sudanese army commanders. The royal family in Saudi Arabia in particular wants to maintain their warm ties with Hemedti because he provides military support [child soldiers] to the Saudis … in the … war in neighbouring Yemen.

That is against ordinary Sudanese, demonstrator Abdelmonim Ali says. “The people are furious”, he says. “We thought we could make a deal with the army. But now people all over Sudan are resisting. We want change. We have demonstrated peacefully. Those who killed innocent civilians today will be on trial.”

12 thoughts on “Sudan dictatorship shoots patients in hospitals

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