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Sudan protests continue after military admits to ordering deadly crackdown

Sudanese citizens leaving a mosque after calls for an investigation into a protest that became violent
Photo: Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images

Protests in Khartoum have resumed after Sudan's military leadership admitted to ordering the crackdown on a group of protesters last week that left at least 100 people dead, reports Al Jazeera.

The big picture: The uprising in Sudan began in December and brought down Sudan’s brutal dictator, Omar al-Bashir, four months later. Since then the army and the opposition have grappled over the future of the country. After the protestors refused to stand down and called a national strike, the military turned violent — seeming to confirm fears that they had no intention of giving up power or allowing an opening for freedom and democracy.

What they're saying:

  • A spokesman for the military council admitted there had been “outrageous” violations during the crackdown and said an internal investigation had been launched, reports the AP.
  • The State Department Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, Tibor Nagy, is calling for an outside probe, saying, "when governments investigate themselves there tends to be a lot of skepticism," per the Washington Post.
  • Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have reportedly supported the military council's consolidation of power.

The state of play:

  • 108 people were killed and 500 wounded last week, according to the Sudanese Doctors Central Committee. The Health Ministry, which is controlled by the military, reported 61 deaths.
  • Military leadership has shut down internet access on dubious national security grounds, drawing further scrutiny from international organizations and leaders, per the AP.
  • There have been accounts of widespread rape and sexual assault of protestors and medical professionals by security forces and militias, according to the AP.

What's next: The Sudanese military has rejected all outside help with the investigation, and says it will share the findings on Saturday, per the Post.

  • The military council is still blaming protesters for the violence. A spokesman called the military "the soul guarantor for peace and stability in the transitional phase" and rejected the opposition's demand for a civilian-led transition.

Worth noting: Ousted President Omar al-Bashir will be going to trial on corruption charges stemming from his 3 decades in power, reports Reuters. He's already been charged with ordering the killing of protesters in May, and is suspected of funding terrorism groups.

Go deeper: How Sudan's pro-democracy uprising was beaten back