On the 30-year anniversary of the military coup, which spawned its former president, Sudan was home to new bloodshed in its current struggle for long-term governance.
According to CNN, mass protests organized in the Sudanese capital this past Sunday (June 30) were met with more violence. The Sudanese Health Ministry’s undersecretary, Dr. Suleiman Abdul-Jabbar, said that at least seven people died of gunshot wounds.
Dr. Abdul-Jabbar also said that an additional 181 people were injured in violent skirmishes. Twenty-seven of the injured victims were directly hit with gunfire. The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors blamed the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
“Many reported critical injuries caused by the gunshots of Transitional Military Council’s [RSF] militias,” the Central Committee said in a statement, according to CNN.
The RSF is a deadly militia, which is controlled by Sudan’s ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC). Members of the special RSF security forces were employed by the TMC earlier this month when it enforced a heavy-handed crackdown on protesters.
The exceedingly brutal RSF apparatus is led by Commander Mohamed Hamdan Daglo. Commander Daglo (known as Hemeti) told SUNA (Sudan’s state news agency) that three of his men were shot prior to Sunday’s mayhem.
“There are snipers shooting at people. They shot three members of RSF and five or six citizens. We are upset and we want to get things under control,” Hemeti said.
Amnesty International issued a recent warning to the TMC ahead of the special Sudanese protest rallies, which went on Sunday. The organization’s Secretary-General urged Sudan’s ruling authority to avoid the use of deadly force during the mass protests.
The TMC’s leader is General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. This Sudanese Army group took power after the recent ouster of Omar Al-Bashir, Sudan’s former president. Opposition groups are protesting the TMC’s government because they want civilian rule for the Sudanese people.
The TMC’s dependence on war-mongering figures like Hemeti also creates fear and disillusionment among the public.