SIHA: Massacre on Nile Street – Peaceful Protesters in Khartoum Shot at by Security Militias

(14 May 2019) Last night – May 13th 2019 in Khartoum, the enduring sit-in continued to peacefully await a power transition to civilian government. As observed, the sit-in has backed the negotiation process between the Alliance for Freedom and Change and the Sudanese Military Council (MTC). Many Sudanese citizens attend the Iftar meals held at the sit-in, marking the end of the day of fasting in a peaceful and communal setting.

However, last night was disturbed by sounds of live ammunition echoing from multiple directions on Nile Street, which had recently been added to the territory of the sit-in. Heavy teargas across the sit-in area added to the panic caused by the noise of live ammunition – and as the situation became more fraught many protesters ran towards the sit-in barriers in alarm at this serious attempt to dissolve the sit-in and harm the protesters. A few moments later, the source of the gunfire sounds were identified and a long line of casualties being carried by fellow protesters appeared to come from the Nile Street side of the occupied sit-in area. The mobile clinics at the sit-in area were quickly filled, and ambulances arrived taking the injured to hospitals across Khartoum. The attacks on civilians lasted between 6:15pm and midnight. Medical sources say that there are 125 people known to have been injured by the attacks.

This morning of May 14th, it was reported by the medical doctors’ committee operating inside the sit-in area that five (5) protesters and one (1) military officer were shot in the head and chest and lost their lives.

Their names are listed below: 

  • Ruba Mohamed of 17 years (the only female);
  • Mohamed Ibrahim of 25 years;  
  • Mohamed Hassan of 21 years;  
  • Ahmed Ibrahim of 20 years; 
  • Mudathir ElShikh of 30 years; 
  • An Army Officer (a male whose name has not been released yet); 

According to many eye-witnesses, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) who for the tenure of the sit-in has surrounded the sit in – withdrew swiftly just before the shooting started. Many eye-witnesses on Nile Street also reported that they were shot at by the same Rapid Support Forces (RSF) personnel based on their uniform and type of vehicles. Additionally, this morning of May 14th, hundreds of the RSF fighters who are stationed around Khartoum especially on the bridges were seen holding whips and flogging civilians on public bridges and pedestrian walkways.

In the press conference held by the military council, Hashim Abd al-Muttalib Mohammad Babikir, a member of the council blamed the peaceful protesters at the sit-in, accusing people of provoking military personnel which consequentially led them to attempt to dissolve the sit in.

During the time of the attack, it was estimated that almost one million people of all walks of life, gender, ages and cultural backgrounds – including families with young children – were having their Ramadan meal within the sit-in area. The protesters’ demands for a civilian government and peaceful democratic transformation have been backed and supported by Sudanese from across the country.

The Sudan Military Council currently in control of the country must be held accountable for the massacre that occurred in Khartoum yesterday. This situation of systemic extra judicial killing by Sudanese security forces rises to levels of crimes against humanity according to international law. The Alliance for Freedom and Change must speak out categorically against these atrocities; otherwise it too will bear responsibility for the lives lost in these attempts to stop the protesters from struggling for justice.