Sudan opposition calls for mass protest after five killed in North Kordofan
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Sudan's main protest group has called for nationwide demonstrations on Tuesday to condemn the "massacre" of five protesters at a high school rally in North Kordofan.
"We call on our people to take to the streets. To denounce the Al-Obeid massacre, to demand the perpetrators be brought to justice," the Sudanese Professionals Association announced.
The Sudanese Doctors' Central Committee, part of the protest movement, said: “Five martyrs succumbed to direct wounds from sniper bullets during a peaceful rally in Al-Obeid," adding that live ammunition was used.
Four students were among the dead. Several more were wounded.
One video showed hundreds of secondary school students marching, and then gunshots.
Central Committee of Sudan Doctors (CCSD)لجنة أطباء السودان المركزية - CCSD (@Sd_Doctors) July 29, 2019
July 29th, 2019
Breaking Update From El Obeid
Five (5) Sudanese civilians were killed by snippers in El Obeid city during a peaceful procession for secondary school students today.
The deceased are:#SudanUprising pic.twitter.com/lMPKl44O4a
No reason was given for organising the rally but it came a day ahead of a planned meeting on Tuesday between protest leaders and the ruling generals about a power-sharing government. Some sticking points include how the transfer should occur from military council to civilian government.
Already agreed upon is the new joint civilian-military governing body that would eventually transfer to civilian rule.
Hemeti meets Egypt’s Sisi
Meanwhile, General Hamdan Daglo, also known as “Hemeti”, deputy chief of the military council, met Egypt's president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo on Monday on the eve of his talks with the opposition.
Sisi reiterated that Egypt would continue to give strategic support to maintain “stability and security” in Sudan, according to the statement.
Cairo backed Sudan's military leaders after the former strongman Omar al-Bashir in April was deposed after months of protests.
Hemeti has been courting various governments since the military council came to power, including in the Gulf, cemented by a meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman in May.
Before the military council, Hemeti was better known as the head of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), also known as the Janjaweed, a militia accused of crimes against humanity in the western Darfur region of the country.
His RSF are accused of killing 127 protesters on 3 June during the violent break up of a month-long sit-in.
An investigation into the deaths carried out by prosecutors and the military council indicated that security forces, including eight officers, took part in the sit-in raid, but went "rogue" as they were not given orders to do so.
Hemeti insists that his RSF were not party to the raid, which spurred more protests throughout the country, calling for an independent probe. The latest came on Sunday, when police fired tear gas in Khartoum to disperse the crowds.
Fatah al-Rahman Saeed, who is leading the investigation, told reporters at the weekend that the eight officers face charges of crimes against humanity.