Families still waiting for justice after Sudan sit-in dispersal


Months after they lost their loved ones, the families of Sudanese protesters who were killed or went missing when the military cleared their protest camp in the capital Khartoum are still waiting for justice. 

“We want justice,” Rouda Abdul Gadir, whose 21-year-old son Fadul went missing in the wake of the army dispersal of the protest camp near army headquarters in Khartoum on June 3.

“We want the new government to tell us who killed our sons and bring them to justice,” she said. “This is the only thing that can convince us that Sudan may go well.”

The bereaved mother said her son had dropped out of school due to poverty and high education fees in the last years of the rule of President Omar al-Bashir, who was deposed this April.

“Fadul was brave and revolutionary and I’m proud of him and his sacrifices,” she said, tears rolling down her cheeks. “I miss him very much in these moments, because he was very close to me.”

In September, Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok ordered the formation of an investigation committee into the deadly break-up of the protest sit-in, which left more than 100 protesters dead. The committee has yet to announce any results.

According to the opposition Central Committee of the Sudanese Doctors (CCSD), more than 300 protesters have been killed since the eruption of protests against al-Bashir’s rule last December. Al-Bashir was removed from power by the military in April.

The CCSD said dozens of protesters have also gone missing, with their fate still unknown.

Dumped in the Nile

The son of Ahmed Abdullah, a factory worker, went missing after the army dispersal of the Khartoum sit-in.

“After two days of searching for my son Yassir, we found his body in the Khartoum morgue,” the grieving father told Anadolu Agency.

“It was the hardest moment in my life to look at the dead body of my son to recognize his identity,” he said, fighting back tears.

Abdullah says what is left of his son is a picture of him taken by one of his friends.

“His memory will always remain in our hearts,” he added.

Yassir was one of 40 bodies found in the Nile River after the sit-in was dispersed.

Hassan Osman Abushanab was missing for more than three months before he was found dead in the morgue of Omdurman, Khartoum’s twin city.

His brother Bakri Osman said he was notified by police in September that his brother’s body had been found in the morgue, describing his death as “mysterious.”

“We don’t know the circumstances of his death; we just received his body after a three-month disappearance,” he said.

“The police treated us with ignorance and carelessness,” he said, suggesting that his brother’s body was dumped in the Nile as there were no marks or gunshot wounds on his body.

“The medical report says the cause of death was drowning,” he said. “I think they got scared during the dispersal and threw themselves into the Nile to survive.”

He added: “We want a clear investigation into the real circumstances of my brother’s death, and we hold all the authorities, especially the Transitional Military Council which ruled the country at that time, responsible for this massacre.”


The opposition Democratic Alliance of the Sudanese Lawyers said it has documented the cases of two protesters whose bodies were dumped in the Nile after being killed.

“We filed a case under Article 130 of the Sudanese Criminal Code related to intentional killing,” a member of the alliance said on condition of anonymity due to security concerns.

Sara Hashim, a member of the Initiative for Missing People, a committee that traces missing Sudanese, believes that the number of missing protesters is much higher than the 24 people announced by authorities.

“We’re working to find those who have gone missing and to reunite them with their families, or at least find their bodies and know their fate,” she told Anadolu Agency.

“We’re also working to put pressure on the authorities to make this issue a priority,” she said.
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