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The New Arab Staff

Sudan investigation committee summons top military officials over sit-in massacre

Protesters hold a vigil for the dozens killed on June 3 [Getty]

Date of publication: 3 December, 2020

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Military figures, including de-facto ruler Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, have been summoned to testify before an investigation into the killing of scores of protesters.
An official investigative committee into the massacre of more than 100 Sudanese protesters has summoned top military officers, an official said on Wednesday.

Brigadier General Al-Tahir Abu Hajjah, media advisor the Sudan's de-facto leader, confirmed reports that top military officials had been summoned to appear before the committee in two weeks time.

The summons involves members of the Transitional Military Council, a now-disbanded ruling body that took control of Sudan after the ousting of former dictator Omar Al-Bashir in April last year.

Led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the council eventually dissolved after an agreement between protest leaders and the military to form a joint transitional government.

Activist and human rights groups have accused members of the council including Burhan and his deputy, paramilitary leader Mohammad Hamdan Daglo, of complicity in the killing of protesters.

The transitional government last year opened an investigation into the killing of scores of demonstrators during the dispersal of a Khartoum protest camp on 3 June 2019.

Estimates of the number killed during the sit-in massacre vary, with local medics estimating at least 128 dead and New York-based Physicians for Human Rights estimating 241 were killed. The government claims the toll was much lower at 85.

Rights groups and activists also allege widespread looting and dozens of cases of rape during the massacre.

A number of former Transitional Military Council members remain in power as part of the transitional government.

Burhan currently leads the joint civilian-military sovereign council, with Daglo also taking a leading role.

The paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) led by Daglo, also known as Hemedti, are accused of leading the brutal sit-in dispersal.

The military officers are set to appear before the investigative committee on 16 December.

Sudanese activists have previously speculated that such leading figures in the transitional government will likely evade justice for their alleged role in the killing of protesters.

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