Top Sudanese generals have been summoned by an investigative panel on a bloody crackdown against pro-democracy demonstrators last year, state media reported.
Shortly before dawn on June 3, 2019, gunmen in military fatigues raided a weeks-long sit-in outside army headquarters in the capital Khartoum, shooting and beating protesters.
The Sudan Human Rights Commission, citing police records, said 85 people died in the crackdown, while medics linked to the protesters said over 100 were killed.
“All the members of what was the Transitional Military Council, now dissolved, must present themselves in front of this independent investigative commission,” the media adviser to army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said Wednesday, quoted by the SUNA state news agency.
“The date of December 16 has been chosen for the start of hearings for members of the TMC and summons reached interested parties on Wednesday,” added General al-Tahir Abou Hajjah.
Burhan was himself TMC chief at the time of the crackdown, before becoming head of Sudan’s Sovereign Council, a military-civilian power-sharing body established in August last year.
The Sovereign Council, Sudan’s highest executive authority, is overseeing a precarious three-year transition to civilian rule.
“We affirm our desire to see justice done and our cooperation with the committee,” General Hajjah added.
The TMC had taken control of Sudan after the military deposed longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir in April 2019, in response to enormous street protests.
Protesters remained on the streets, mainly outside army headquarters, after Bashir’s fall, to pressure the military into sharing power with civilians.
The investigative committee is headed by Nabil Adib, a veteran human rights lawyer who was named to the post in October last year by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.
A spokesman for the TMC acknowledged days after the June 2019 killings that “mistakes happened” after it ordered commanders to “come up with a plan to disperse” the protesters outside army headquarters, which was “implemented”.
An initial probe by military officials and prosecutors then found that some members of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and other security forces were involved in the killings.