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U.S., UK should penalize Sudan for declaring state of emergency: opposition


February 23, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese opposition Sudan Call alliance said that the declaring state of emergency disqualifies the regime of President Omer al-Bashir from the normalization of bilateral relations with U.S. and UK and the removal of sanctions imposed on his regime.

President al-Bashir on Friday evening declared the state of emergency, delayed a constitutional reform to enable to run for an additional term, and dissolved the government as well as appointed military governors for the 18 states.

The announced measures were perceived as security solutions and political manoeuvres to remain in power more than a serious attempt to find a solution to the political problems and economic crisis. Immediately, they triggered protests during the evening across the country.

In a statement released in the first hours of Saturday, the Sudan Call alliance said that Friday measures and the wave of arrests after the announcement indicate that the ICC wanted President is preparing for more repression in response to two months protests.

"Therefore, we appeal to the international community to first stop the strategic dialogue between the democratic countries in the European Union and the U.K. with the genocidal General, who is committing more crimes and giving no space for political and economic reforms and peaceful exchange of power," said the opposition alliance in a statement released by its Secretary of External Affairs Yasir Arman.

" Secondly, we appeal to the United States in particular, to stop de-listing Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism and to put more pressure on Bashir" and to respond to the Sudanese demand for "democratic transformation and ending wars as key pillars for de-listing Sudan as state sponsors of terrorism".

Before to leave Sudan on Wednesday, Special Assistant to the U.S. President and Senior Director for Africa at the National Security Council (NSC), Cyril Sartor, warned that the violent crackdown on protesters threatens Sudan’s removal from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism.

He told the AFP that the ongoing talks with the government "which could eventually lead to the lifting of state sponsors of terrorism designation... is being threatened by the current developments," he said pointing to the excessive use of violence against civilians.

The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), on Friday evening, rejected the declaration of the state of emergency and vowed to continue the protests until the fall of this regime.

"Yes, our masses of Sudanese people in all cities and neighbourhoods will continue to go out to the streets to demonstrate and use all the kinds of peaceful revolutionary expression until all their demands are met".

The SPA, which coordinates the anti-government protests that continue for more than two months, further called to protest on Saturday, Sunday in the different areas of Khartoum state.

Further, it called for "the Procession Of Rejection" to the presidential palace in Khartoum and in the states.

(ST)