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Sudan Shoots Democracy Demonstrator

FILE: Protesters march during a rally in Khartoum, Sudan, May 19, 2022

A protester was shot dead in the Sudanese capital Friday, medics said, as pro-democracy demonstrators rallied to demand justice for those killed in a bloody crackdown three years ago to the day.

KHARTOUM - Thousands took to the streets Friday in Khartoum and other Sudanese cities to commemorate the 128 people reportedly killed on June 3 , 2019 when armed men in military fatigues violently dispersed a months-long sit-in outside army headquarters.

One demonstrator in Khartoum was shot dead by authorities.

Khartoum Protest Dispersed With Tear Gas
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Amna Behiri, whose son Abdel Salam Kesha was one of the demonstrators killed three years ago, joined one of the rallies Friday wearing a shirt emblazoned with a print of her son's face.

"We want justice before anything else," she told AFP. "Without justice, we can't have a democratic state."

Diaa Eddine, whose nephew was also killed in the crackdown three years ago,said "We lost youth who were dear to the people of Sudan," adding "With this anniversary, God willing, the Sudanese revolution will win."

The latest demonstrations came as UN human rights expert Adama Dieng visited Sudan and urged authorities to "refrain from use of excessive force."

An investigation was launched into the June 2019 killings later that year, but even before last year's military power grab by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the probe struggled to make headway and has yet to announce its findings.

The latest demonstrations and the regime's response came as UN human rights expert Adama Dieng visited Sudan and urged authorities to "refrain from use of excessive force."

On June 2, military officials met with UN, AU, and IGAD representatives and agreed to launch "direct talks" among Sudanese factions next week.

On Friday, UN special representative Volker Perthes announced the Security Council approved a one year extension of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission Sudan [UNITAMS].

The UN, along with the African Union and regional grouping IGAD, have been pushing to facilitate Sudanese-led talks to resolve the crisis.

On Sunday, Burhan lifted a state of emergency in force since the coup to set the stage for "meaningful dialogue that achieves stability for the transitional period".

Since April, Sudanese authorities have released a number of civilian leaders and pro-democracy activists.