Paramilitary forces shoot a civilian dead in Sudan

RSF members deployed and initially started shooting in the air but later they opened fire at residents
Vehicles of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitaries as reports indicate that the RSF shoots down a Civilian dead
Vehicles of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitaries await before leaving following a rally for supporters of Sudan’s ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) in the village of Abraq, about 60 kilometers northwest of Khartoum, on June 22, 2019. (Photo by Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP)

Members of a feared Sudanese paramilitary force shot dead a civilian Sunday in a town southeast of the capital as angry residents protested against the paramilitaries, witnesses and doctors said. The incident occurred in El-Souk in the state of Sinnar when residents of the town rallied demanding that members of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) leave the town, witnesses said.

“Residents of the town had gathered outside the office of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) to complain about the RSF,” a witness said. “RSF members deployed and initially started shooting in the air but later they opened fire at residents, killing a man and wounding several other people,” said the witness, who declined to be named for security reasons.

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A committee of doctors linked to the country’s umbrella protest movement, the Alliance for Freedom and Change, confirmed the incident. The resident “was killed by gunshot in his head fired by Rapid Support Forces militia,” it said in a statement, adding that several other people were wounded.

Witnesses said El-Souk residents had gone to the NISS office to complain after the RSF raided a youth club on Saturday during a rally held to mourn the deaths of demonstrators killed in a Khartoum sit-in on June 3. “During that rally, the RSF raided a youth club and beat the youths there,” one witness said.

On Saturday, protesters held rallies in several cities and towns across the country, including in Khartoum, to mourn those killed in a raid on a protest camp on June 3 in the capital. Protesters and rights groups allege that the raid on the sit-in outside the army headquarters in central Khartoum was carried out by members of the RSF.

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More than 100 demonstrators were killed in the raid on that day when armed men in military fatigues cracked down on protesters who had been camping out there for weeks, doctors close to the protesters have said.

RSF Commander Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo is the deputy chief of Sudan’s ruling military council that seized power after the army’s ouster of longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir in April following nationwide protests against his rule. Dagalo has dismissed claims that the RSF was responsible for the deadly June crackdown, saying it was an attempt to distort the image of his force.

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