Sudan To Create Commission Of Inquiry Into Violent Crackdowns On Anti-Government Protests

The Sudanese government on Saturday decided to set up an independent commission to investigate cases of violent dispersal of protests against former president Omar Bashir and the Transitional Military Council (TMC), including a crackdown on a sit-in protest camp in Khartoum in June, when dozens of civilians were killed.

“Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, given the powers that were granted to him by the constitutional document for the transitional period, issued today a decision on the formation of an independent commission of inquiry, which will include seven people. The head of the commission will be a Supreme Court judge, and it will include representatives of Defense, Justice and Interior Ministries, independent national leaders and lawyers,” the government said in a statement.

The investigation will last three months, while the commission’s mandate could be extended for the similar period if it is necessary, according to the government.

The commission will receive complaints from victims of crackdowns, as well as their relatives and legal representatives.

Since December, the opposition has been holding protests in Sudan to demand that the ruling military council immediately yield power to a civilian authority. Mass rallies resulted in a military coup that saw Bashir overthrown and put in jail. The TMC took over and pledged to hold a new presidential election within two years, but protesters insisted on immediate power transition.

The situation further escalated in early June when law enforcement officers violently dispersed a sit-in demonstration near the military headquarters in the capital city of Khartoum, killing dozens of civilians. The tragedy halted talks between the TMC and the opposition.

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