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Sudan lifts state of emergency

May 29, 2022

Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan has canceled the state of emergency imposed since last year's military coup, the ruling sovereign council said. Security forces are accused of killing two protesters over the weekend.

Sudanese security forces use tear gas on demonstrators in Khartoum on May 26, 2022
A pro-democracy group has accused the military of 'deliberately' using 'deadly violence' against protestersImage: Mahmoud Hjaj/AA/picture alliance

Sudan on Sunday lifted the state of emergency that the military imposed after seizing control in a coup last October.

The Transitional Sovereign Council said in a statement that army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan had issued a decree in order to create the atmosphere for "a fruitful and meaningful dialogue that achieves stability during the transitional period [toward civilian rule]."

The decision came after a meeting with senior military officials recommending that people detained under the emergency law be freed.

Two killed in crackdown of protesters

On Saturday, security forces launched another violent crackdown on anti-coup protesters in the capital Khartoum that saw two people killed.

Activists said security forces used gunfire and teargas to disperse the hundreds of protesters that had gathered in one part of the city, alongside several other nearby rallies.

One of the dead was fatally shot by security forces and the other suffocated after inhaling tear gas, according to the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors (CCSD), which is part of the pro-democracy movement.

Military accused of 'deliberately' using 'deadly violence'

The Committee wrote on Twitter that "the coup forces deliberately use deadly violence ... using all kinds of weapons against the peaceful revolutionaries who prove day after day that peace is stronger than bullets."

The crackdown was denounced by the United Nations envoy to Sudan Volker Perthes, who wrote on Twitter that he was "appalled by the violent death of two young protesters in Khartoum yesterday.

Once again: it is time for the violence to stop,'' said Perthes, adding that "it is time to end the state of emergency" imposed after the military putsch and calling for "a peaceful way out of the current crisis in Sudan."

Sudan: The brief dream of democracy

Almost 100 protesters killed

At least 98 people have been killed and over 4,300 wounded in a crackdown on anti-coup protesters, according to the medical group.

Hundreds of activists have also been rounded up in the clampdown under emergency laws.

Already one of the world's poorest countries, Sudan has also faced international aid cuts and economic turmoil since the coup.

When the military took over on October 25, it upended a transition to civilian rule after the 2019 ouster of autocratic President Omar al-Bashir, who ruled the country for three decades.

The military insists it will only step down once an elected government is in place and has proposed elections for July 2023.

The UN, the African Union and an eight-nation East African regional group have been pushing to facilitate Sudanese-led talks to resolve the crisis.

But civilian groups have refused to enter negotiations involving the military.

Activists go on trial accused of killing police officer

Also on Sunday, a trial began of four activists accused of killing a senior police officer during a protest earlier this year.

The four were arrested after police Colonel Ali Hamad was stabbed to death as security forces dispersed protesters on January 13.

The court ordered the defendants to be medically examined after their lawyers claimed they were tortured and mistreated in police detention.

mm/msh (AP, Reuters)