Juba – the African Union has suspended Sudan’s membership days after the transitional military rulers hurled a brutal crackdown on protesters that killed dozens of people.
At least 108 people have been reported killed and more than 500 wounded, according to the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors, while a health ministry official was quoted as saying the death toll stood at 61. The Pan African Visions is unable to independently confirm the differing death toll.
The doctor’s committee said 40 bodies were pulled from the Nile River on Tuesday and taken to an unknown location by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). The TMC has not commented on the allegations.
The AU’s peace and security department said in a post on Twitter on Thursday that Sudan’s participation in all AU activities would be suspended with immediately effect – “until the effective establishment of a civilian – led transitional authority [is formed],” which it described as the only way to ‘exit from the current crisis.’
The announcement followed an emergency meeting by the AU in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, after the violent dispersion of a protest encampment in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, began on Monday.
Sudan’s pro – democracy leaders have vowed to continue their campaign of civil disobedience until the Transitional Military Council (TMC) – which has ruled Sudan since deposed longtime leader Omar al Bashir in March, this year.
The Sudanese Professionals Association asked people to block main roads and bridges to ‘paralyze public life across the country in retaliation for the military crackdown.
In response to the killings, AU Commission Chairman, Moussa Faki Mahamat on Monday, called for an ‘immediate and transparent investigation in order to hold all those responsible accountable.”
The AU had earlier warned of suspension if Sudan’s military did not hand over power, but extended the deadline on Saturday after the previous one was ignored.
However, the raid on Monday marked a focal moment in the weeks – long struggle between the powerful TMC and opposition groups over who should lead Sudan’s transition to democracy.
Followed the protested on Monday, the TMC quoted said they will conduct general elections in nine months’ period.
The head of TMC, General Abdel Fattah al – Burhan, says it was ready to resume negotiations with the opposition coalition. But the opposition rejected the offer, saying the military could not be trusted.
Some of these guys in TMC have extensions to the genocide in Darfur and they still maintain the old system in the country.
The RSF, accused of diffusing the protest with gunfire, grew out of the Janjaweed militia that human rights groups accuse of committing war crimes – including killings, rape and torture of civilians in Sudan’s Western region of Darfur after the outbreak of conflict there in 2003.
The United States has called on Sudan’s military rulers to ‘desist from brutal violence’ and urged talks with protesters to resume.
“The United States condemns the recent attacks on protesters in Sudan,” said Morgan Ortagus, State Department spokesperson in a statement on Wednesday.
On the other hand, Russia said on Thursday, it opposed foreign intervention in Sudan and the authorities in Khartoum must subdue what it described as ‘extremists,’ Russia’s RIA news agency reported.
Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov was quoted as saying Moscow favored a national dialogue about a transition period leading to new elections. “That’s the situation right now, but we are against any external intervention, the imposition of anything on the Sudanese.”
The Sudan’s crisis, started as a ‘bread protested,’ and it triggered across the country, resulted to the overthrowing of the tyranny leader Omar al – Bashir.