The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region has called for independent investigations into the bloody crackdown on protesters in Sudan that led to the death of over 100 amid fears of a possible civil war.
The body, with membership of 12 countries in the Great Lakes region including Sudan and 7 coopted members from Southern and Northern Africa, added its voice to condemn the security attack on sit-in prodemocracy protesters in capital Khartoum on Monday.
“The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) strongly condemns the opening of fire on peaceful demonstrators and unarmed civilians in Khartoum, Sudan, leading to the loss of dozens of lives,” said part of a statement.
On 3 June, Sudan’s security forces launched a bloody crackdown on unarmed protesters in Khartoum, clearing a sit-in outside the country’s military headquarters and bringing its political transition to a screeching halt.
The rampage left dozens dead and many more injured.
Crisis Group says state-affiliated militias now roam the streets of the capital and other major cities, with residents sheltering at home.
Many Sudanese fear the prospect of fractures among the army, intelligence services and Rapid Support Forces (RSF), the paramilitaries blamed for the attacks.
The group said the risk of widespread conflict is at its highest since the military removed Omar al-Bashir on 11 April.
ICGLR appealed to the military leadership to quickly restrain from violence on civilians and allow an independent investigation to determine the perpetrators.
“We would like to register our gravest concern on the use of violence against peaceful protestors, and call upon the Transitional Military Council (TMC) to immediately restrain any further escalation of the situation and allow an independent investigation, so as to bring to book all the perpetrators of these heinous acts,” added the statement.
The body also wants warring parties to return to dialogue in a bid to transfer power to civilian authority.
“The ICGLR further calls upon the TMC and the leaders of the opposition groups to expeditiously resume negotiations towards concluding an agreement on the amicable transfer of power to a civilian administration that will work to resolve ongoing grievances and rebellions around the country.”
On 6 June, the African Union’s Peace and Security Council suspended Sudan’s African Union (AU) membership until authorities put a civilian administration in place.