At least 60 people are dead and over 300 injured after troops stormed the main camp of pro-democracy protesters in Sudan’s capital Monday, according to the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors (CCSD).
Videos showed billowing smoke and scenes of panic as the military tried to break up an opposition sit-in in the capital, Khartoum. The demonstrators have demanded that the Transitional Military Council, which has ruled the country since troops ousted longtime President Omar al-Bashir in April, make way for a civilian-led interim body.
Many of the those who are injured are in a critical condition, according to the CCSD, which is close to the protestors.
Eyewitnesses said that the police and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces shot at protesters on Monday. Several videos showed security forces beating people with sticks. The internet has been blocked in places across the country by major providers.
On Tuesday, Khartoum’s streets had become quieter. Sudan is now celebrating Eid al-Fitr, a Muslim holiday which marks the end of Ramadan.
Despite that, the CCSD said one woman had been killed by a stray bullet in her home in Khartoum Tuesday.
Monday’s attack has drawn international condemnation, including from United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.
Calls for an election
After April’s coup, the military council and opposition groups agreed on a three-year transition to democracy. But on Tuesday, the council’s leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan called for national elections within nine months.
The only way to rule Sudan is through “the ballot box,” al-Burhan said in an address on state TV.
He said the elections should be supervised by monitoring groups, including international and regional bodies. Al-Burhan said a caretaker government would be formed to oversee the period before elections.
Al-Burhan described those who died on Monday as “martyrs” and expressed “regret” at the violence, although he did not directly say military forces were responsible. He promised that Sudan’s general prosecutor would investigate the incident and urged people to show a “spirit of forgiveness.”