Soldiers arrested after Sudan protest deaths, military council says

The military council defended the actions of the RSF

Activists have said the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), which are loyal to the ruling military council, carried out the rapes during the deadly crackdown on the sit-in outside the army complex in the capital Khartoum. He has been indicted by an global court on charges including genocide and crimes against humanity for atrocities committed in Sudan's Darfur region.

He urged that the United Nations and the AU "not turn their backs on people in Darfur who rely on peacekeepers for protection".

The Security Council "should halt all handovers, re-assess downsizing plans, and refocus its attention on UNAMID's core mandate to protect civilians", said Jehanne Henry, associate Africa director at HRW.

"The Military Council has made a decision to reinforce the presence of armed forces, RSF and other regular forces to help normal life return", the council member said, including the feared Rapid Support Forces, blamed by witnesses for the killings last week as a sit-in protest outside army headquarters was cleared.

The military council announced that security forces on the streets would be boosted after four people were killed in clashes on Sunday - two in Khartoum and two in Omdurman, just across the Nile river.

Today marks the third day of a general strike and civil disobedience campaign by the opposition alliance, which is refusing to meet the military council after a ferocious crackdown in which around 120 protesters were killed and the site of their demonstration was burnt.

The opposition Alliance for Freedom and Change issued a statement urging people to return to work on Wednesday.

The military-run government did not appear to be softening its position.

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Some shops and services had already started to re-open, mostly among small businesses and daily wage earners who could not afford to remain closed.

Meanwhile, an Ethiopian envoy said negotiations between the military council and the protest leaders would resume "soon".

The two sides will resume talks on the formation of a transitional council, Mahmoud Dirir told reporters.

Jalab and Ardual were arrested in Khartoum on Friday after meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who visited the Sudanese capital to mediate between the protesters and the TMC to bring the conflicting parties back to the negotiating table.

It also follows the loss of service on Canar Telecom and Mobiltel Zain networks earlier this month, NetBlocks said.

The Central Committee for Sudanese Doctors blamed forces supporting the ruling generals for the deaths on Sunday. Doctors at the hospital have accused the paramilitary forces of raping women.

It said the attack wounded at least 20 people.

The Sudanese Professionals Association, which first launched protests against Bashir in December, has said the disobedience campaign would continue until power is transferred to a civilian government.

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