AU suspends Sudan until civilian government formed, mediation launches on Friday
The African Union has reacted to the news of the killing of more than 100 protesters in Khartoum, announcing an immediate suspension of Sudan until a civilian government is installed.
The AU Peace and Security Council decided in its Thursday meeting to suspend member state Sudan from all AU activities, responding to the country interrupting constitutional rule.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is slated to visit Khartoum on Friday to start mediation between the military rulers and the opposition groups who have called for an end to military rule, a diplomatic source at the Ethiopian Embassy in Khartoum told Reuters newswire.
The source added that Abiy was planning to meet the Transitional Military Council and the opposition's Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces.
Security forces and paramilitary groups cleared the square in front of the Defence Ministry in Khartoum on Monday, reportedly killing many civilians as they dispersed the sit-in camp. Witnesses saw that the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitaries were the ones who forcefully cleared the area.
Death toll disputed
Sudan’s Health Ministry on Monday disputed the number of at least 100 people killed as was reported by the Sudan Doctor’s Association.
The Sudanese Health Ministry said on Thursday that 61 people had been killed in the square but the opposition said 108 had died, adding the some 40 bodies that had been taken out of the Nile River and others who has previously been declared missing.
The opposition had been discussing a transition to democracy, but the negotiations failed.
Amnesty International has condemned the violence allegedly carried out the RSF, while the Sudan Military Council denied it was involved in the bloody crackdown.
"We are urging the African Union Peace and Security Council and the UN Security Council to break this cycle of impunity and take immediate action to hold the perpetrators of this violence accountable," said Amnesty, pointing to the war crimes and crimes against humanity the RSF, also known as the Janjaweed, has carried out in Darfur.