Sudan’s new prime minister launches probe into deadly June crackdown

Abdalla Hamdok has established an independent committee

FILE - In this Aug. 21, 2019 file photo, Sudan's new Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok speaks during a press conference in Khartoum, Sudan. Sudan's newly appointed prime minister is launching an independent investigation into the deadly crackdown on protesters earlier in June. Hamdok said late Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, that the seven-member committee includes a top judge, an independent figure and two attorneys. (AP Photo, File)
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Sudan’s new Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has announced an independent investigation into June’s deadly crackdown on protesters that killed dozens.

The investigation will be led by a seven-member committee including a top judge, an independent figure and two lawyers, Mr Hamdok said late Saturday.

The justice, defence and interior ministries will be represented on the committee which should conclude its probe within six months.

In early June, following months of demonstrations, a military clampdown on the protesters’ main sit-in in the capital left more than 100 dead.

Last week, Amnesty International joined calls for justice for those killed during the months of protest.

"Amnesty International thanks the people of Sudan for showing us courage, for showing us resilience and for showing that we can resist injustice and violation of human rights," Amnesty International Secretary General Kumi Naidoo told reporters during a visit to Khartoum.

He said the demonstrators were confronted by "disproportionate use of violence, unnecessary use of violence and provocative use of violence".

"Amnesty International will back the Sudanese people in calling on the new government to ensure that there is absolute accountability and justice" for the families of those killed.

The Sudanese military took charge of the country after removing longtime president Omar Al Bashir on April 11 following months of protests against his rule.

However the protesters continued their sit-in to demand a handover of power to civilians. Talks between the military and a coalition of civilian groups on a power-sharing arrangement broke down after June’s clampdown but were resumed after outside mediation.

Members of Sudan’s transitional council have promised a full investigation into the raid.