Military forces are seen in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. File picture: Mahmoud Hjaj/AP

Johannesburg – The European Union (EU) has laid the blame for the massacre of Sudanese protesters, taking part in a sit-in protest outside military headquarters in the capital Khartoum earlier in the month, squarely at the feet of the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and has called for an investigation.

On Monday the Council of the European Union released a statement condemning the attacks and saying the responsibility for the deaths lay with the TMC whose responsibility was to protect the population before warning that it won’t support Sudan until a civilian government has been established.

"A civilian-led transitional authority is the only partner with which EU-Sudan relations can be normalised," said the EU.

"When Sudan embarks on a transition to civilian rule, the EU looks forward to supporting the country in tackling the social, economic and political challenges and implementing the necessary reforms, and will provide assistance accordingly," added the statement.

The Europeans have also expressed their support for an African Union (AU) decision to suspend Sudan’s membership from the continental body until a power handover to a civilian authority, the Sudan Tribune reported.

Last week TMC spokesman Shams Kabbashi admitted to the killing of over 100 protesters by army officers who he asserted had been acting against the instructions of the military leadership which had given orders to “clean” another area near the sit-in protest headquarters where they alleged drug dealers were operating.

An investigation by a military committee further confirmed that a number of army officers were responsible for the attack.

On Sunday, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, deputy chief of the military council, vowed that “whoever committed any fault” would be held to account.

African News Agency (ANA)