Violence during 'millionth march' in Al-Qadarif on June 30, 2019Fri Jan 29 2021
On June 30, 2019, thousands of Sudanese protesters took to the streets renewing the demand to shift power from the transitional military council (TMC) to civilians. In this investigation, Sudanese Archive has researched violence perpetrated by security forces against protesters in Al-Qadarif city on June 30, 2019, as demonstrations took place across the country in the ‘million march.’ The Sudanese Archive verified three videos showing protesters running from teargas and the sounds of shooting, protesters being rounded up by security forces on hospital grounds, and protesters assisting an injured man. The investigation was produced in collaboration with the Berkeley Human Rights Investigation Lab.
Following a deadly crackdown in Khartoum by Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on civilians, which killed more than 100 protesters and injured several hundred others on June 3rd, 2019, civil society organizations called for wide-spread protests across Sudan in a collective effort to demonstrate against military rule and the bloodshed that took place on June 3rd.
In the run up to June 30th, the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) led the organization of a ‘millionth march,’ mourning the protesters killed during the massacre on June 3rd.
Tweet by SPA announcing a millionth march of Sunday, June 30 at 1 p.m. all across Sudan
While protesters went out opposing the brutal dispersal of June 3rd sit-ins, the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors (CCSD) was documenting violence and human rights violations in all of Sudan. The CCSD’s first tweet announced the death of a protester in his twenties, in the city of Atbara in River Nile State. There were reports of security forces targeting protesters in cities across Sudan.
Later in the day, CCSD announced that TMC militias, referring to RSF, raided Al-Qadarif Hospital firing live ammunition and causing casualties.
CCSD’s tweet on Al-Qadarif Hospital attack
CCSD also shared figures of the injured in Al-Qadarif city: 40 injured, most of whom sustained bullet wounds or were hit with a teargas canister.
Sudanese Archive verified three key videos recorded in Al-Qadarif on June 30, 2019.
The first video shows a number of protesters chanting “مدنية” or “civilian rule”. In the video, protesters run as sounds of what appears to be teargas being shot are heard. In a few cases, a white gas can be seen emerging from what appears to be teargas canisters. The videographer says “the army that’s supposed to protect us is firing teargas.” The footage does not show who the perpetrators are.
In the video, we can see a few landmarks that are also identifiable on Google Maps. In the video there is a white-and-black checkered water tank, a black-and-yellow pavement dividing the road into two lanes and a lush tree of distinctive foliage. Based on these markers, the video was likely filmed around these coordinates: 14.040272, 35.388586.
Landmarks from a still of the video, as seen on Google maps
In one frame - albeit somewhat blurry - is sign that reads “Al-Qadarif Teaching Hospital” in Arabic. The hospital is located across from the identified coordinates where the video appears to have been taken.
“Al-Qadarif Teaching Hospital” as read on the sign
As well, the weather that day matches what’s seen in the video, according to an analysis conducted with SunCalc. This analysis also indicated that the video was likely recorded between 1 and 2 p.m.; a timeline that would indicate the protesters at the scene just before reports that security forces raided Al-Qadarif Hospital. CCSD announced the raid later in the day.
The second video shows what look like civilians being rounded up by police forces, dressed in blue uniforms and RSF, dressed in beige. In the video, protesters can be seen raising their arms and towards the end, running from what sounds like gunshots. There is also a waft of white gas that looks like teargas.
The videographer, then, says that security forces are firing live ammunition and teargas at protesters on hospital grounds.
The footage bears some similarity to the first video as we can see a multi-layered building and the chequered tank from the first video. We compared other landmarks to Google Maps and found for example the blue box and a two-sheet, green building on the map. That led us to these coordinates: 14.039456, 35.388220, which places security forces on Al-Qadarif Hospital grounds. This corroborates CCSD allegations that
Landmarks as found on the map
Though the shadows we can see in the video are not 100% clear, the video was likely taken around 2:30 p.m.
A third video shows a man likely shot in the elbow, bleeding while running. In the background, sounds of shooting can be heard while a group of people are carrying the injured man supposedly away from the shooting.
These three verified videos appear to be filmed in or around Al-Qadarif Hospital.
The metal green structure to the videographer’s left. Part of a yellow sign can be seen
A building named Zidan Commercial Business on Google maps matches the green structure seen in the video. The video was likely taken around 1:35 p.m., which would align with the timeline of the other two videos, although for this video the shadow analysis has a lower degree of confidence.
In Arabic, the business reads “Zidan commercial business”
The sheet structure as seen in the video and we can see a small part of a yellow sign that we can see in one of the video frames
None of the videos show a perpetrator explicitly firing a weapon, although the third video shows an injured protester being assisted.
The Sudanese Archive was able to verify videos showing an injured protester, that protesters fled teargas and sounds of gunfire, and the presence of security forces appearing to be police and RSF on hospital grounds rounding up and firing teargas at protesters in Al-Qadarif on June 30, 2019. These findings also corroborate the CCSD’s statement saying officers were on hospital grounds, shooting and firing teargas.