Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok on Sunday constituted a commission to investigate an attack on a sit-in in June in which dozens of innocent protesters were killed near the Defence Ministry in Khartoum, reported Reuters. The development follows repeated calls for justice from protest and civilian groups.
According to a report by state news agency SUNA, the commission will have broad powers to summon witnesses, including officials, and will be given access to official documents, security reports and medical records. It will be charged with identifying those responsible for raiding the sit-in, as well as finding out the number of dead, wounded and missing, and the financial losses incurred by those affected.
The decision was announced a day before a mass rally planned by the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which spearheaded demonstrations leading to the overthrow of former President Omar al-Bashir in April and continues to call for justice for protesters who were killed or wounded.
The SPA welcomed the government decision. It called the commission’s appointment “the first brick in the structure of a fair investigation and the revelation of the perpetrators of the crime”.
The commission will be led by human rights lawyers Nabil Adib and will include senior security officers and some other lawyers.
The June sit-in was part of months of mass protests that led to army officers turning against Bashir and ousting him with a military council. Protesters stayed on the streets demaidng for civilian rule, until security forces moved to clear the sit-in early on June 3. According to the witnesses, at the time of the attack, the security forces were led by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.
After much negotiation talks, the military and opposition groups agreed to a three-year power-sharing deal in August and constituted an 11-member sovereign council and appointed a technocratic, transitional government under Prime Minister Hamdok.