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Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Daqlou, the deputy head of Sudan’s Transitional Military Council, waves to supporters. Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Daqlou, top right, the deputy head of Sudan’s Transitional Military Council, waves to supporters during a rally in the town of Garawee, northern Sudan, June 15, 2019 (AP photo).

Can Sudan’s Revolution Be Saved?

Monday, June 17, 2019

On June 3, the eve of the 30th anniversary of China’s bloody dispersal of demonstrators in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, Sudan’s military authorities launched their own massacre of unarmed pro-democracy protesters. State-linked paramilitaries attacked a peaceful sit-in in the capital, Khartoum, claiming, without proof, that it had been infiltrated by drug dealers and criminals. More than 100 people were killed, according to doctors’ groups in Khartoum. Scores of bodies were dumped into the Nile River, women were reportedly raped and hospital staff attacked as they tended to the injured. That the atrocities echoed those conducted in Darfur for more than a decade was hardly surprising; the perpetrators were the Rapid Support Forces, or RSF, a successor militia to the infamous Janjaweed that was accused of genocide in Darfur. In the days that followed, the authorities rounded up protesters, deported political leaders and cut off internet services.

The massacre coincided with a deadlock in negotiations between the leaders of the popular movement whose protests hastened the end of Omar al-Bashir’s three decades in power and the military that finally ousted him in April. Civilian representatives, organized under a coalition known as the Forces for Freedom and Change, failed to persuade the Transitional Military Council that has been in charge since Bashir’s fall to give them majority representation in an interim presidential council that would organize elections. While talks dragged on, the RSF commander and vice president of the military council, Mohammed Hamdan Daqlou, known as Hemeti, unleashed his forces on the protesters, who had vowed to camp out until the military gave up power. ...

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