KHARTOUM – Al Jazeera in Sudan reports the number of people killed since security forces stormed a protest camp in the capital has jumped to at least 60, as European countries condemned the crackdown against the pro-democracy protesters but the UN Security Council failed to reach a position.
The death toll rise came as the ruling junta said on Wednesday it was open to new negotiations with an opposition alliance.
Security forces fired live ammunition at dawn on Monday as they wiped out the sit-in outside the military headquarters in Khartoum that had for weeks become the protesters’ main rallying point in their long struggle for civilian rule.
The opposition-linked Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors said on Wednesday the death toll since the operation on Monday – the last day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan – had risen from 35 to at least 60 people, with hundreds of others wounded.
The committee said it held “the militias of the [military] council … responsible for this massacre”.
Protesters have previously singled out the Rapid Support Forces, paramilitaries with origins in the 16-year-old war in the western region of Darfur, whose commander is deputy chairman on the ruling military council.
Sudan’s military ruler on Wednesday offered to resume a dialogue on a transition to democracy, one day after he scrapped all agreements with the opposition coalition.
In a message for the Eid al-Fitr broadcast on state television, Lieutenant-General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan paid homage to the uprising that began in December and culminated with the military overthrow and arrest of President Omar al-Bashir in April.
He was still ready to hand over power to an elected government, he said.
“We in the military council, extend our hands to negotiations without shackles except the interests of the homeland,” Burhan told the media.
He previously announced he was skipping any negotiations with protest groups and said he would organise elections within nine months.