Sudanese film maker Hajooj Kuka lay on the dusty street as blood gushed from a head wound inflicted by a member of Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces on Monday.
Members of the force went on the rampage, shooting dead more than 100 pro-democracy demonstrators in the capital Khartoum.
As the cut was directly above his right eye, the blood trickled across his face, partially blinding him as he lay motionless on the dusty street.
“Is he dead?” asked one of the unit’s members. “If he’s not then finish him off,” another added.
This was Kuka’s first-hand account.
He spoke to City Press from Khartoum yesterday, and recounted his harrowing ordeal at the hands of the Rapid Support Forces who were attempting to quash the revolution which has been going on for months in Sudan.
Among the dead were women and children, making this the worst massacre of civilians since the ousting of dictator Omar al-Bashir nearly two months ago.
On the day, soldiers from Sudan’s ruling military junta opened fire on a sit-in camp in the heart of Khartoum.
“On Monday morning we had heard there was going to be an attack on the sit-in camp,” he said.
The sit-in camp is a pro-democracy protest, which broke out on December 19 last year following a series of demonstrations in several Sudanese cities, as a result of the rising cost of living and deteriorating economic conditions at all levels of society, among other things.
The protests quickly turned from demands for urgent economic reforms into calls for then president Al-Bashir to step down, which he was forced to do by the military on April 11.
The sit in, however, continued as citizens demanded transition of power from the military to civilian rule – a call that still has not been heeded.
A protester flashes the victory sign in front of burning tires and debris near Khartoum’s army headquarters on Monday. Picture: AP
The hostile military council leaders have now resorted to quashing the revolution, though their use of underhanded tactics has been condemned as they amount to gross human rights violations.
They have turned the dream of a new Sudan into a bloody nightmare.
There have also been reports of mass public rapes and assaults used as a weapon to deter protesters from taking part in the sit-in.
Yesterday Kuka told City Press that there was a video circulating in Sudan of a young man confronting these armed men who were trying to rape a group of women.
“The youth tells these men that they won’t rape these women in front of him and they retaliate by raping him and the women. So the reports of mass rapes are true and consistent with what we have been seeing on the ground,” said the soft-spoken Kuka.
Meanwhile, AFP reported that opposition politician Mohamed Esmat was arrested on Friday soon after his meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who had travelled to Sudan to try and mediate.
Ismail Jalab, a leader of the rebel SPLM-N group, and his spokesperson Mubarak Ardol were also reportedly detained early yesterday.
The African Union suspended Sudan on Thursday, demanding a “civilian-led transitional authority” to resolve the entrenched and bloody crisis.
Last month, the organisation gave the military a 60-day ultimatum, but had to act after this week’s massacre.
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