Thousands of protesters in Khartoum demand an end to the military regime and justice for those killed since last year’s coup
Khartoum, South Sudan – Sudanese security forces fired stun grenades and tear gas to disperse thousands of protesters in Khartoum as they marked the fourth anniversary of the uprising that finally toppled President Omar al-Bashir.
Protesters donned Sudanese flags on Monday and held up banners calling for military leaders to be held accountable for the killing of 120 people since consolidating power in a coup. on October 25, 2021.
Although there were no reports of deaths on Monday, many young people were taken to hospitals in the capital, where they were treated for the injuries they sustained during the march.
Mohamad Amin was parked outside the hospital after carrying an injured protester on his motorbike.
“The police are very violent,” he told Al Jazeera. “The young man I took to the hospital was hit in the back of the head by a canister of tear gas.”
Failed political deal?
The protest was led by the Resistance Committee, against an agreement signed this month by security forces and political elites. Population groups that lead Sudan’s pro-democracy movement denounce The deal is a betrayal of the core demands of the 2018-2019 insurgency, such as transitional justice and security sector reform.
Menjan Hamza, 22, who participated in Monday’s march said: “The deal has failed. “The [security forces and politicians] agreed, but what about our martyrs? No one was convicted for the murders [security forces] committed in the past year.”
The global community still supports the agreement as a “positive step” towards restoring the transition to democracy. Diplomats hope the second part of the deal, which politicians and security officials are expected to address next month, will address outstanding issues.
“On the anniversary of the December Revolution, I hope that the political process will realize the demands and aspirations of the Sudanese men and women who took to the streets four years ago and continue to fight for a future of peace, democracy, human rights and equal citizenship,” wrote Volker Perthes, the United Nations special envoy to Sudan, on Twitter.
The military doubts the future of the deal after its top general, Abdel Fatah al-Burhan, told soldiers last week that civilians would never have control of the armed forces.
The military in Sudan controls lucrative civilian sectors of the country, which critics say undermines its economy. Members of the military also enjoy immunity from criminal prosecution under the law, according to human rights group Redress.
“Don’t listen to what politicians say about military reform; … no one will interfere in the military’s work,” al-Burhan told state television on Wednesday.
Kholood Khair, founding director of Khartoum-based Confluence Advisory, told Al Jazeera that al-Burhan’s apparent refusal to uphold his final agreement is exactly what observers Foreigners should expect.
“This is a framework agreement in which [the military] say all the good things but really have no intention of doing them,” she said. “So for me, this is all about branding. Al-Burhan said one thing – or signed another – and did another.”
Some protesters also told Al Jazeera that they did not believe that al-Burhan or other security figures supporting his coup would easily relinquish power.
They said the real problem is that the security forces and the agreement signed this month are mainly supported by regional and Western countries that have their own economic and strategic interests in Sudan.
“The government we have is an outside government, but we want a government for the people,” said Mohamad Ibrahim, a protester holding a Sudanese flag. “We want a revolutionary government that will support everyone.”
Al Jazeera tried to contact police spokesman Brigadier General Abdallah Bashir al-Badri several times for comment, but he did not respond.