Rights group calls for justice for victims of Sudan protests

Hundreds of protesters have been killed in rallies that have taken place across the country since late last year

epa07840655 Amnesty International Secretary General Kumi Naidoo (C) speaks at a press conference at the Sudanese Ministry of Information, in Khartoum, Sudan, 13 September 2019. This is the first time Amnesty International is back in khartoum since 13 years. The visit comes in the wake of the formation of a new government and a power sharing deal between the army and the opposition in August 2019, following the uprising which resulted in the ousting of the then president Omar Hassan al-Bashir  EPA/MARWAN ALI
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Rights group Amnesty International on Friday called for justice for those killed during months of protests that rocked Sudan, insisting that demonstrators had faced "disproportionate and unnecessary" violence.

Sudan has experienced unprecedentedly large rallies since December, first against the now ousted leader Omar Al Bashir and later against the generals who seized power after overthrowing him.

The protest movement says that more than 250 demonstrators were killed in the violence, including at least 127 in a crackdown on a sit-in during early June outside military headquarters in Khartoum.

"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, in the first such trip by the rights group's chief to Sudan.

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.

Protests first erupted in December against the then government's decision to triple the price of bread.

They swiftly escalated into a nationwide campaign against Mr Bashir's iron-fisted rule during the last three decades.

The army ousted Mr Bashir on April 11 but protesters continued their street campaign, turning it against the military council that overthrow him.

In August, Sudan embarked on a transition to civilian rule thanks to a power-sharing deal signed between protest leaders and the generals, and a joint civilian-military ruling body was sworn in.

On Sunday, an 18-member cabinet was sworn in, the first since the ouster of Mr Bashir.