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UN expert condemns bloody attacks on Sudanese protesters

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Sudanese rally outside the army headquarters supporting opposition demand to transfer power to civil rule on 25 April 2019 (AFP photo)
May 17, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - UN human rights expert on Sudan Friday condemned the excessive use of force against protesters demanding a civilian-led transition in Sudan.

On 13 and 14 May, Six people, 5 protesters and one army officer were, were killed and over 100 injured during attacks by armed troops that the army says they are not part of the regular forces but the opposition says they are part of the Rapid Support Forces.

However, the army admitted that it dispatched forces to remove the roadblocks.

"The UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Sudan, Aristide Nononsi, called on the Transitional Military Council to uphold its responsibility to provide protection for peaceful protesters all over Sudan, allowing them to express their views and concerns on the future of their country through peaceful means," said a statement released in Geneva.

"He also urged the Declaration of Freedom and Change forces to also take appropriate measures to ensure peaceful protests and prevent provocative actions during protests," he added.

The expert further welcomed the decision by the military council to establish an investigative committee into the recent violence.

"The authorities must conduct thorough, independent and impartial investigations into the reported killings and use of force against protesters that occurred since the start of the protests on 19 December 2018, to ensure perpetrators are brought to justice," he said.

In addition, he "strongly" urged the Sudanese military and security forces to exercise the utmost restraint to avoid further escalation of violence and to take immediate measures to protect the constitutional rights of the Sudanese people.

In line with the African Union’s Peace and Security Council decision of 30 April, the expert called for the resumption of talks on power transfer to a civilian-led government within the 60-day deadline.

Sudanese opposition criticized the decision of the military council to suspend talks for three days after the bloody violence. Also, they rejected accusations that the expansion of barricades by the protesters created chaos in the capital.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
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