KHARTOUM, Sudan — Protesters stood behind a brick barricade in downtown Khartoum last week and did what they’ve done for almost two months: demand an end to Sudan’s military rule. But the soldiers on the other side had a different response. First, they raised their weapons skyward and fired into the air.
“Then they started aiming,” said Muzdihir Abdulmunim, a 31-year-old father of two, speaking from a hospital bed after the attack. “And that’s when I was shot.”
Abdulmunim was one of dozens of protesters shot last week in Khartoum, allegedly by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a notorious militia led by Mohamed Hamdan Dagolo.
Dagolo, better known as “Hemeti,” carries a long record of alleged atrocities in Darfur, and he’s brought his reputation for violence to Khartoum. Both protest leaders and the U.S. envoy blamed the RSF for the outbreak in violence last week, which took place just as military and civilian negotiators were on the cusp of a deal to form a new government. Now, those talks have collapsed.