UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — In anarchy that accompanied the bloody attack on Sudanese protestors at a pro-democracy sit-in in Khartoum on Monday, a man moaned in pain as doctors stitched a wound in his ear without anesthetic.
He was also trying to help the man sitting next to him, another victim of the worst violence in Sudan since soldiers overthrew President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on April 11.
Medics linked to the Sudanese opposition said on Wednesday that the death toll on Monday and the unrest that followed the attack had risen to more than 100 after 40 bodies were recovered from the Nile River in Khartoum.
The authorities did not issue any official statement on the number of victims.
“He did not stand up once because he was holding someone who was suffering badly when he had a bullet from his calf,” said a student studying medicine and taking part in treating the wounded.
“He was shouting and screaming and almost losing consciousness. And everyone around him was trying to calm him so he was holding this hand in an attempt to calm him.”
The medical student asked not to be named for fear of harm. Reuters was unable to verify his account of the attack.
The attack on Monday when security forces stormed a camp for protesters in front of the Defense Ministry was a major setback in efforts to create democracy and rebuild a country that has suffered from insurgency, economic crises and international isolation caused by Bashir’s policies.
Talks between the transitional military junta, which has ruled the country since the overthrow of Bashir and the opposition, have stalled amid deep divisions over who is leading a three-year transition to democracy.
The council chief said on Wednesday the council was ready for negotiations without any conditions.
– Dawn Attack –
The young man who teaches medicine and another university student who took part in the sit-in said a large number of rapid support forces led the attack at dawn.
Human rights groups accuse the rapid support forces led by Lieutenant General Muhammad Hamdan Duklu, known as Humidity, for genocide during the war against rebels that began in Darfur in 2003.
Bashir’s government denied allegations that Arab Janjaweed militias, later turned into quick support forces, had burned villages, raped and executed civilians.
The medical student realized at first that there was a problem at the checkpoint outside the sit-in at 5am. He heard shots and saw people fall as they ran towards him. He ran towards a field clinic in the sit-in.
“People were vomiting blood, choking on blood, actually drowning,” he said.
He and some doctors treated a man with a skull fracture.
“He was kicking and punching everyone around him,” the student said. It took five men to hold him until he stitched his wound without anesthesia of almost any kind.”
Most of the soldiers were young, he said. “It seems they have not received any military training of any kind.”
Rapid support forces could not be reached for comment, but Hamditi, speaking to members of the force, told state television that a decision had been made to conduct an impartial and transparent investigation into the sit-in.
The Transitional Military Council said in a statement that the rapid support forces had a strong record in defending Sudan against terrorism, adding that organized media campaigns on social media since the violence on Monday were aimed at “spreading lies and fabricating charges.”
The statement said that some members of the rapid support forces were attacked, and said that some persons impersonate members of the rapid support forces to discredit their reputation.
Rapid support forces do not have the discipline of the Sudanese army, but they have played a vital role in supporting the position of new military commanders.
These paramilitary forces also helped Saudi Arabia and the UAE in the war in Yemen. The two oil-exporting countries, shortly after the coup, pledged billions of dollars to support Sudan.
– Clinic –
A medical student received a phone call from a friend two hours after the crisis began. He added that security forces opened fire at a clinic during this call.
The occupants inside fortified the building with a huge metal door.
“They broke the door and started shooting. Everyone was lying on the ground, and there were bullet holes all over the clinic.”
After the shooting stopped, a doctor raised his hands in the air and said this was a clinic to treat patients.
“Even some of your soldiers were wounded and we have to treat them as well,” the doctor was quoted as saying. “I convinced them and they stopped shooting.”
Sudan’s main opposition group called for an international investigation into what it called the massacre. The head of the Transitional Military Council, Abdul Fattah al-Burhan, said he regretted the violence and said it would be investigated.
The medical student and a friend of one of the patients were taken to a hospital outside the sit-in area. The patient was bleeding from his head.
“I was holding the patient’s head and trying to prevent bleeding as much as possible,” the student said.
All around him were quick support forces and they were making fun of him and others.
“We would say: if he is not transferred to the hospital he will die … and they would say: he can die, what would happen if he died.”
A young college student, who also asked not to be named, supported a medical student’s account of the shooting.
He said that initially about 30 members of the rapid support forces entered the site of the sit-in, and then reached large numbers until they reached more than a thousand. He added that the security forces were flogging people with rubber hoses and long truncheons and kicked them.
“People were falling around me after being shot,” the university student said. Some people fled to the buildings and were followed by the security forces and attacked them.”
“I barely escaped from being shot. While all this was happening, I saw snipers sitting on several roofs and watching everything.”
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for VOP from different countries around the world – edited and published by VOP staff in our newsroom.
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