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Street vendor killed, five others missing after attack on Khartoum pro-democracy site: women’s group

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A woman sells tea in a cafe area close to the main gathering point for the demonstrations against the military government in Khartoum, Sudan on April 27, 2019 (Photo Fredrik Lerneryd/Getty Images)
June 24, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Khartoum’s female street vendors say six women vendors have disappeared from the pro-democracy sit-in area when security forces opened fire on the protesters killing over a hundred people on 3 June 2019.

Following the bloody raid on the protest camp in Khartoum pro-opposition medical group said over 118 people were killed, nut the Sudanese authorities put the death toll at 62.

Some days after the attack, the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors (CCSD) said 40 bodies were recovered from the Nile River after reports by eyewitnesses that the assailants threw bodies in the Nile which is nearby the area and transported other bodies to mass graves far from the site.

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune, the Women’s Cooperatives Union of Food and Beverage Vendors in Khartoum condemned the attack pointing that more than five thousand female vendors have been subjected to abuse and sexual violence by the "military and Janjaweed forces".

The statement further mentioned heft and deliberate property damage against women vendors.

"The damages caused have had a significant influence on the economic livelihood of the women vendors," said the statement adding that the assailants destroyed their business apparatus.

"Some of the materials which were damaged or stolen include money, mobile phones – and work utensils ranging from kettles, cups, stoves, and seating stools for customers. (The total loss is estimated at about 1 billion Sudanese Pounds)".

The female street vendors union further said six women have disappeared after the attack of 3 June. The body of one of them Amal Agus was found among the bodies pulled from the River Nile.

"The other 5 missing women vendors are yet to be located. Furthermore, some women lost their sons and daughters and, many women were beaten up and sexually assaulted resulting in serious physical injuries and psychological trauma," said the female union recalling the violence that many of these women had fled in Darfur region.

Thousands of Sudanese from marginalized areas and migrant women work in Khartoum’s informal labour market – as tea ladies, dressmakers, or as street vendors selling nuts, sweets and grilled meat.

They work by the roadside, in parklands, along the banks of the Nile and inside the city’s sprawling souqs (markets). After, the establishment of the pro-democracy site after 6 April thousand of them were in the area and surrounding streets

The Women’s Cooperatives Union of Food and Beverage Vendors in Khartoum is an organization for tea and food sellers that serves many of those who have fled Darfur and other war-affected areas in Sudan.

(ST)

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