Sudan activists call for 'justice' for killed protesters


The Sudanese Professionals' Association, which has been spearheading the protests since December, says the "Justice First" marches mark 40 days since a deadly dispersal of their protest sit-in outside the military headquarters.

Sudan has been in political deadlock since the overthrow by the military of autocratic President Omar al-Bashir in April in the wake of months-long pro-democracy protests. Demonstrators who had camped there for weeks demanding civilian rule were shot and beaten.

The announcement late Thursday came as the generals and protest leaders went through the details of the agreement at a luxury hotel in Khartoum.

Our editorial independence means that we can continue to provide factual updates about ongoing protests to Sudanese and worldwide actors, educate people about how to avoid outbreaks of infectious diseases, and provide a window to the world for those in all corners of Sudan. "We want civilian rule now", said Abdelqadir Omar, an English teacher at a rally in the Al-Sahafa area of the capital. Security forces closed all the roads that lead to the presidential palace in Khartoum and deployed along the road leading to the airport. There were protests in other places, including the Red Sea city of Port Sudan and the eastern province of Kassala.

The protest organisers hoped that large numbers would take part in the marches, similar to massive demonstrations on June 30, when tens of thousands of demonstrators flooded the streets in the biggest show of numbers in the uprising. At least 11 people were killed in clashes with security forces, according to protest organizers.

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Saturday's marches also put pressure on the ruling military council as it and the Forces for Declaration of Freedom and Change - which represents the protesters - planned to meet to sign a power-sharing agreement.

The forming of the new governing body is the first step towards installing an overall transitional civilian administration in Sudan as demanded by demonstrators.

"We are not an enemy of the Alliance for Freedom and Change", Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the deputy chief of the ruling military council, told a rally in comments broadcast on state television from the Nile State. The agreement stipulates that the new governing body will be presided over by a military nominee for the first 21 months, and by a civilian for the last 18 months.

Later on Saturday the protest leaders and generals were scheduled to hold more talks on the finer details of the blueprint, mediators said, before it is formally signed in the coming days.

Dagalo is also the commander of the feared paramilitary Rapid Support Forces which protesters and rights groups allege carried out the June 3 raid.