By Lisa Vives
From the presidency to prisoner behind bars, former President Omar al-Bashir now faces formal charges of murder in the latest development to spring from a massive turnout of Sudanese people demanding civilian rule.
“Omar al-Bashir and others have been charged for inciting and participating in the killing of demonstrators,” the office of Sudan’s acting prosecutor general, Al-Waleed Sayyed Ahmed, announced on May 13.
The prosecutor’s office highlighted the killing of Babiker Abdul Hameed, a 27-year-old doctor who was killed on January 19, “as he was trying to give medical assistance to protesters”, said Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan.
A witness told the BBC that the doctor had walked out of his home with his hands in the air, told the police he was a doctor and was instantly shot.
The doctor was one of 90 people killed in the protests throughout Sudan since December, according to the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors, which has been tracking casualties. The government lists 65 as dead. Until May 13, 2019 no senior government figures had been held to account.
Bashir is also facing an investigation over allegations of money laundering and terror financing.
Since he was removed from office, Bashir has been held at Kober Prison in Khartoum.
Meanwhile, President Salva Kiir of South Sudan has lifted a state of emergency imposed in 2017. The declaration by the President comes as the ruling and opposition parties agreed to give themselves six more months to form a unity government as part of the peace deal they signed in 2017.
The six month extension was brokered by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an eight country East African trade bloc that has been helping mediate between South Sudan’s warring parties. But many remain doubtful that a lasting peace can be achieved that has remained so elusive.
“The next six months should not be wasted as the last eight were,” said the International Crisis Group. “The two sides need to make difficult decisions and South Sudan’s foreign partners should both encourage and pressure them to do so in order to prevent a return to war.”