Khartoum - Five demonstrators including students were shot dead at a rally in Sudan Monday, a day before protest leaders and ruling generals meet to resolve the remaining issues concerning the forming of a civilian administration.
The two sides have already signed a power-sharing deal that aims to set up a joint civilian-military ruling body which in turn would install civilian rule.
That is the main demand of a nationwide protest movement that led to the April ouster of longtime leader Omar Al Bashir and has since demanded that the military council which took his place cede power to civilians.
But ahead of the talks, five protesters were killed on Monday, including four students, in the central town of Al Obeid, the capital of North Kordofan state, a doctors committee linked to the protest movement said in a statement.
“Five martyrs succumbed to direct wounds from sniper bullets during a peaceful rally in Al Obeid,” the committee said.
A key protest group, the Sudanese Professionals Association, said that “live ammunition” had been used against what it said was a student rally.
“We are calling on all citizens and medics to go to the emergency ward of Al Obeid hospital and other hospitals that are receiving the wounded from the live ammunition fired on the rally of school students,” the group said on its Facebook page.
The reason for the rally was not immediately clear, but Al Obeid had not witnessed any major anti-Al Bashir protests during the months-long campaign that erupted in December.
On June 3, at least 127 protesters were killed and scores wounded in a raid on a sit-in at the epicentre of the demonstrations, according to doctors linked to the protest movement.
A joint probe by prosecutors and Sudan’s ruling military council showed that security forces took part in the raid on the protest camp - despite having no orders from their superiors to do so.
Meanwhile, Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi met in Cairo Monday powerful Sudanese military General Mohammed Hamdan Daglo. In his first official visit to the Egyptian capital, the deputy chief of Sudan’s military council widely known as Hemeti, “presented the latest developments on the current situation in Sudan”, the Egyptian presidency said.
Al Sissi, the former general turned president, reiterated Egypt’s “strategic support” in maintaining “the stability and security” of its neighbour Sudan, the presidency added.