• 46 protestors died, not over 100 as claimed by the opposition.
• RSF leader believes harsh crackdown can restore military authority.
A file photo of South Sudan soldiers during a patrol at Juba International Airport amid escalating fighting outside the capital.
Yesterday the Transitional Military Council in Sudan said it had only killed 46 protesters this week, not over 100 as claimed by the opposition.
On Sunday the Military Council suspended talks on forming a new transitional government and unleashed the Rapid Support Forces to disperse demonstrators camping outside the army barracks.
The RSF grew out of the Janjaweed militia that terrorised Darfur in the 1990s and led to ICC charges against President Omar al Bashir who was deposed in April.
Now the African Union has suspended Sudan’s membership and insisted that the generals return Sudan to civilian rule. Even Saudi Arabia, which pledged $3 billion to Sudan in April, is calling for a resumption of negotiations.
The army, particularly the RSF leader Hemedti, presumably calculated that a Tiananmen-style crackdown could restore military authority.
But the crackdown is unlikely to succeed. Firstly, the opposition remains persistent. Secondly, Saudi Arabia will not want the embarrassment of underwriting a brutal regime in Sudan and risk itself becoming a pariah state.
Sooner or later the Sudan generals will have to back down and accept civilian rule.
Quote of the day: “It’s a cruel, crazy, beautiful world.”
The South African singer was born on June 7, 1953