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US Official: Violence Against Sudanese Protesters Must Immediately Stop

US Official: Violence Against Sudanese Protesters Must Immediately Stop

Thursday, 20 January, 2022 - 08:15
People chant slogans during a protest in Khartoum, Sudan, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Marwan Ali)

US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Molly Phee said on Wednesday that violence against protesters in Sudan must stop.

Phee’s statement came after arriving with newly appointed Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa David Satterfield to Khartoum where they are trying to find a way out of the crisis roiling the African country since an October military coup.

On Wednesday, the two officials met with pro-democracy activists, women and youth groups and discussed with them the repercussions of the political crisis, its security, economic and social impacts, in addition to human rights violations, including the freedom of peaceful protest.

“Phee and Satterfield are honored to meet the families of the brave men and women who gave their lives to build a democratic Sudan. Violence against protesters must stop,” the US Embassy in Khartoum wrote on its Twitter account.

The US officials also heard from the Forces for Freedom and Change Central committee about their positive engagement with UNITAMS-facilitated consultations.

The Embassy said the FFC’s contributions are critical to crafting a path to democratic governance.

In the Sudanese capital, Phee is also expected to hold talks with political figures, including Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

The US is currently leading efforts to end Sudan’s deadlock.

Asharq Al-Awsat learned that the US efforts are aimed at restoring confidence building between the transitional partners in Sudan, civilians and military, and entering into a new political process in which all parties should participate.

Also, Phee and Satterfield met on Wednesday with the Sudanese Professionals Association, the activists who led the uprising against ousted president Omar al-Bashir and who are now pillars of anti-coup protests that have demanded a fully civilian government to lead the transition.

Following their meeting, members of the Association said they are ready to provide unlimited support for the democratic and civil transformation in Sudan, in partnership with international actors.

They also called on the US delegation to put pressure on the leadership of the Sudanese army to immediately stop the use of lethal force, saying the military institution must protect the constitution and preserve the security of citizens, and not to suppress or kill them.

Before arriving in Khartoum, the two US officials attended a meeting of the Friends of Sudan group in Saudi Arabia to rally support for UN efforts to end Sudan’s deadlock.

The group includes the United States, Britain and other international governments and world financial institutions.

Sudan’s turmoil has been worsened following the resignation of Hamdok earlier this month. Hamdok, who was ousted in the October coup only to be reinstated a month later under heavy international pressure, stepped down on Jan. 2 after his efforts to reach a compromise failed.

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