SALT LAKE CITY — The Sudan military admitted for the first time that it ordered the brutal crackdown of the country’s protesters, which started a widespread panic and left scores dead, according to Al Jazeera.
Sudan’s ruling military council said it ordered the dispersal of the sit-in protest at the capital, which led to dozens of deaths.
Context: Protesters began their sit-in outside of the army’s headquarters after they saw Sudan’s longtime president Omar al-Bashir overthrown back in April.
- As I wrote for the Deseret News, Sudan’s protesters have argued for the military to give power back to the people and allow for a governmental body controlled by the people instead of by the military.
- Talks between the protesters and the military broke down on June 3, which led to armed men in military outfits breaking up the protests. The health ministry says 61 people were killed that day, according to Al Jazeera.
- The fight turned deadly as 120 people were killed since June 3, according to the doctors and multiple reports. Hundreds have been attacked, beaten and arrested. More than 70 women have reportedly been raped, according to Refinery29.
Why?: "We ordered the commanders to come up with a plan to disperse this sit-in. They made a plan and implemented it ... but we regret that some mistakes happened," TMC spokesman Kabashi said on Thursday.
- "What is delaying the negotiations is the false understanding of a civilian-led government ... In my view, civilian is the authorities, the ruling, the task which we agreed on. After we agreed that government ministers and the legislative council would be civilian-led, they are still screaming civilian, civilian," he said.
- "We believe the majority (of the sovereign council) should be military men and the leadership should be the military. They (protest groups) believe otherwise. We insist that the military is the soul guarantor for peace and stability in the transitional phase."
Yes, but: The military shutdown the country’s internet access to stop "victims from reporting the crimes or asking for help from the global community,” according to Fast Company.
Help: Social media has looked to help with the ongoing crisis. As CNN reported, social media has “gone blue” as a way to support Sudanese people during their time of crisis by adding blue profile photos to honor the favorite color of a slain peaceful protester.