At least seven people were killed in Sudan on Sunday during protests demanding civilian rule and the end of the military government.
The African nation has been in the middle of a political crisis steeped with violence since April when former leader Omar al-Bashir was ousted. As their first demand, the Sudanese Professionals Association led protests to take down the dictator.The other demand was to transition toward democracy and civilian leadership; however, since then, the Transitional Military Council has been in power, leading to more protests and demands for an immediate move toward civilian rule.
Authorities say that protest leaders are to blame for Sunday’s casualties, saying that they moved marchers toward the military headquarters and presidential palace, NPR notes.
However, NPR East Africa correspondent Eyder Peralta notes that the mass protests on Sunday signal how much the people of Sudan want real change in their country, despite the violence they were met with last month—when at least 100 people were killed and multiple women raped when militias cleared a protest camp.
“They have opened fire with machine guns. They carry whips, sticks, electrical prods – and they have acted ruthlessly. Yet the Sudanese people still went out. The junta thought they had scared people back to their homes. … But these protests tell us the Sudanese want top-to-bottom change in their country and that they’re willing to die to get it,” Peralta said.
Mohammed al-Asam, one of the leaders of the protest has insisted that the demonstrations will continue until a change comes.
“The military council has only one option, which is to respond to demands of the Sudanese people,” he said.