Dozens of people were killed Monday when Sudan’s military attacked a group of protestors in the capital city of Khartoum. Reports suggest a death toll of between 60 and 108. Hundreds more were wounded.
The African Union (AU) held an emergency meeting to discuss the incident and on Thursday announced the suspension of Sudan’s membership in the bloc:
“The #AU Peace and Security Council has with immediate effect suspended the participation of the Republic of #Sudan in all #AU activities until the effective establishment of a Civilian-led Transitional Authority, as the only way to allow the Sudan to exit from the current crisis.”
In addition to the suspension, AU Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat has called for an investigation to determine who is responsible for the killings.
The protestors in Sudan are fighting to replace the Transitional Military Council (TMC) with a democratic government. The TMC has been in charge since April, when former leader Omar al-Bashir was overthrown in a military coup.
For weeks, the TMC has been fighting with opposition groups over who should lead the country’s transition. Opposition leaders rejected the TMC’s latest offer to negotiate, saying the military could not be trusted.
“You cannot have successful negotiators between the protest groups and the military so long as security forces are killing fellow Sudanese,” said David Shinn, a former US envoy to Sudan. “This has to stop. Until it does, I don’t see any prospect for meaningful negotiations.”
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is expected to begin mediation efforts in Sudan later this week.