After crackdown, Sudan military ruler calls for early elections

A day after Sudan’s military shot dead some 60 sit-in protesters in front of their headquarters in Khartoum sparking global outrage, the junta ruler, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, above, on Tuesday announced elections within nine months.

Burhan said the Transitional Military Council (TMC) has ordered an investigation into the firing and the public prosecutor has set up a committee for this.

With the announcement of general elections, the deal by TMC to hand over power to a civilian government in three years stands cancelled.

Burhan assured free and fair election monitored by regional and international observers.

Burhan’s poll announcement brings relief to people as Sudan appeared to be sliding into chaos.

His statement comes after Sudan’s military used force on Monday to disperse protesters holding a weeks-long sit-in outside the army headquarters demanding early civilian rule.

The military opened fire on protesters leaving more than 30 dead and over a hundred injured.

The TMC ousted President Omar al-Bashir in April after months of mass protests led by the Sudan Professionals Association and Alliance for Freedom and Change over his despotic rule. The protests began last year over rise in prices of basic goods including bread.

Although TMC assured an elected government in Sudan within three years, protesters suspected this would only be the beginning of a long authoritarian rule under Burhan. Moreover, they did not want to see the familiar faces of military officials or listen to their sugar-coated lies anymore.  

Weeks ago, the protesters came in thousands before the military headquarters demanding civilian rule. This unnerved the military and led to the firing on Monday.  

The UN has condemned the incident and its Security Council is set to meet behind closed doors to discuss Sudan.