76 pro-democracy protesters killed in three months since the coup in Sudan

Three more protesters were shot dead and dozens were wounded by the security forces during the country-wide demonstrations against the coup on January 24. Protesters continue to barricade several neighborhoods and main roads.

January 26, 2022 by Pavan Kulkarni
Red dye water cannons and tear gas used by Coup forces to disperse the crowds of protesters. Photo: Sudanese Resistance Committee

Three months after the military coup in Sudan on October 25, the military junta has failed to consolidate power in the face of country-wide mass protests recurring every few days. Deploying the army, police, and a notorious militia to meet the protests with force, the junta has killed at least 76 protesters since the coup.

Three of them were killed in the crackdown on Monday, January 24, when mass demonstrations and rallies – calling for an overthrow of the junta and prosecution of the generals who seized power in the coup – were witnessed in at least 23 cities.

22-year-old Thabit Moawya Bashir, who was shot in the head, and 23-year-old Mohamed Amer Elaish, who was hit in the chest with live ammunition, died in capital Khartoum. Later at night, Elaish’s funeral procession also came under fire.

Rallies of protesters heading that afternoon from multiple assembly points across this city towards the presidential palace – the seat of the coup leader and army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan – were “besieged” by security forces and attacked “from several directions”, according to a statement from the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors (CCSD). In neighboring Omdurman, the rally came under heavy fire in Al-Arbaeen Street.

In the city of Wad Madani, capital city of El Gezira state, the security forces killed Gasim Mohamed, also in his twenties, with shots to his head and shoulder. Thousands of the city’s residents attended his funeral procession on Tuesday, January 25.

Large protests were also witnessed on Monday in several other cities, including in the region of Darfur and Kordofan, and in the states of El Gedaref, Port Sudan, and Kassala.

Many dozens were injured by live bullets and also by impacts from tear gas canisters and stun grenades fired directly at the bodies of the protesters. Over 2,000 have been injured by security forces since the coup. More than 250 of them were still receiving treatment as of last week. At least 24 protesters have lost their limbs or other organs.

Several protesters fleeing under fire during the crackdown on Monday were chased into their neighborhoods, where tear gas canisters were reportedly fired into homes. One house in Khartoum was burnt down when a canister ignited fire.

There are also reports of hospitals coming under attack and medics being detained for treating the protesters.

On the evening before the protests on Monday, January 24, four members of the Resistance Committees, which are spearheading the street actions, were detained by the army in Khartoum.

Radio Dabanga reported that according to the witnesses the detainees El Hasan Yahya, Ezzeldin El Mubarak, Mohamed Dafallah, and Mujahid Babikir “were subjected to severe beatings and verbal abuse before being taken to an unknown location.”

On the night of January 22, Amira Osman, a women’s rights activist, was also arrested by security forces from her home. Forces also raided the headquarters of the Southern Belt Resistance Committees in Khartoum.

Following the violent crackdown on the protests that day, the RCs in Al Kalakla Al Gubba neighborhood in Khartoum said in a statement, “The brutality and humiliation of peaceful revolutionaries that we observed today in the “January 24 March” will not last long, as dawn is inevitably coming.”

The statement declared, “our processions will continue and that we will close the streets until Al Burhan and the coup authority are deposed, the killers are brought to justice, and all regular forces are restructured, because they have demonstrated that they are incapable of protecting their people, but only capable of killing them.”

RCs in Khartoum’s Burri called on protesters to barricade the neighborhood, declaring a total lockdown in the neighborhood. In Atbara, the city in River Nile state where the first protests of the December Revolution began in 2018, the RCs declared a lockdown of the entire city. Several other RCs have also called for intensification of resistance.

Images of make-shift barricades, raised to block several main roads across the country in response to the calls issued by the local RCs, were shared widely on social media.

Mobilizations are underway for the next country-wide protest – which have come to be known as the ‘March of Millions’ – on January 30. In the meantime local demonstrations and barricading of neighborhoods and several other forms of civil disobedience will continue throughout the week.

“Delusional [are] those who think that the revolution is defeatable, the time for military and non-military coups in Sudan is over,” said the East Khartoum RCs Coordination.