Five Sudanese protesters, including four school children and one adult, were killed on Monday when security forces opened fire on a protest in Sudan’s North Kordofan state, reported Reuters.
The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors, one of a group of unions and professional bodies that helped lead months of protests against the former leader, Omar al-Bashir, said many other people were injured in the incident. The death toll is expected to rise.
According to the witnesses, militants from the feared Rapid Support Forces (RSF) fired bullets on teenagers as they marched peacefully in protest at shortages of water, electricity and public transport in El-Obeid, the capital of North Kordofan state. Many of them were wearing school uniforms and carrying school bags.
The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) said the militant used live ammunition against the rally of school students in the central town of El-Obeid. The protest group urged all citizens and medics to head to hospitals treating the wounded.
“We call on our people to take to the streets … to denounce the Al-Obeid massacre, to demand the perpetrators be brought to justice,” said the SPA.
Mohamed Khidr Mohamed Hamid, the acting governor of North Kordofan, told Al-Arabiya TV that there had been slight friction between protesters and security forces. He could not confirm who opened fire and said that a committee would investigate the incident.
Following the incident, the local authorities announced a nighttime curfew in four Sudanese towns. There was no immediate statement from the ruling military council. The army was deployed in the city.
The incident took place at a time when the opposition Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) coalition is negotiating with the ruling military council to finalize an agreement for a three-year transition to elections.
The two sides signed a deal earlier this month setting out the transition’s institutions. A constitutional declaration to determine the role of a new council to run Sudan is yet to be finalized.