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125 dead since the coup: can the Sudanese regime hold out?

Yesterday, a 125th Sudanese protester was killed during a demonstration against the military. The latter are under pressure, but still hold the reins of the country.

His name was Ibrahim Majzoud and he was barely 18 years old. By participating on Tuesday in a demonstration against military power, this young Sudanese knew he was taking risks. Because despite the departure of Omar al-Bashir in April 2019, protests continued steadily. Since 2021, they have killed 125 people to date.

The Popular Resistance Committees, which are at the origin of yesterday's movements, have been demanding for several months the departure of the military from power. Above all, they refuse any negotiation and demand that civilians take control of Sudan.

This time, the murder of the young Ibrahim Majzoud made it possible to put the forces of order in front of their responsibilities, because it was filmed. On the video circulating on social networks, we see the Sudanese who does not commit any violence. Despite everything, he is chased away by a policeman who, with his weapon, fires several shots. At least one of them hit Ibrahim Majzoud in the back. The young man will die a few seconds later.

It was, police said, an "individual action contrary to orders", which was committed by a policeman. The latter will be prosecuted and will have to answer for his actions. But what about the other 124 killings of protesters by law enforcement?

At the end of 2021, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, condemned the murder of around forty people in Sudan since the military coup of October 25, 2021. About fifteen murders had then took place in less than a week.

A "framework agreement" that is useless?

“Following our repeated calls on the military and security authorities to refrain from using unnecessary and disproportionate force against protesters, it is utterly shameful that live ammunition was once again used against protesters yesterday. “, declared the official, on November 18, 2021, accusing the power of wanting to “stifle the expression of public dissent” and of committing “flagrant violations of international human rights law”.

In July 2022, the same Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations demanded the opening of an "independent investigation" to determine the responsibilities in the murders of demonstrators on July 1. Nine people at least, that day, had perished under the bullets of the forces of order.

Despite repeated calls from the UN, Abdel Fattah al-Burhane's regime is still in place. The protests continue every week. Can the military regime continue despite the weekly violence? The West has a means of pressure on the junta: development aid. These will only be paid in full if civilians are returned to power.

But Washington's ultimatum has so far not led to any progress. Last December, military and civilian leaders signed a first agreement to consider a way out of the crisis. But some movements, such as the Popular Resistance Committees, refuse to negotiate, while the Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change had initialed this “framework agreement” which some consider vague.

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