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State of Emergency: Troika say Sudan’s response to protests will determine future ties

Sudanese army wheeled infantry fighting vehicle deployed in Khartoum after the imposition of the state of emergency on 23 Feb 2019 (ST photo)
February 26, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The Troika countries and Canada said concerned about the imposition of the state of emergency criminalizing demonstrations, warning that government response to the peaceful protests will determine the fate of relations with Sudan.

Troika countries including Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States are engaged in discussions with Sudan to normalize bilateral relations and remove it from the terror list, for Washington, and to remove international sanctions and supports its efforts for debt relief for London.

Since the eruption of anti-government protests, the Troika countries issued several statements collectively or individually to remind Khartoum their concern and worry about the excessive use of violence and need to ensure freedoms in line with engagements for Sudanese governments.

On Tuesday, the four countries pointed out to the "return to military rule" and continued detention of political leaders, activists and journalists, will not create a conducive environment for a "renewed" political dialogue and called the government to release all the detainees.

"Troika countries and Canada will continue to monitor the situation closely, and to emphasize that the Government of Sudan’s response to these protests and the actions of the military-led government will determine our countries’ future engagement," stressed the statement.

On Monday Amnesty International said verified more than 45 dead and more than 180 people injured since the beginning of the protests in Sudan on 19 December 2018. Government officials say more than 2,600 people have been detained during the protests.

On Sunday, security forces fired live ammunition and teargas at protesters in Khartoum state, injuring at least three people. Also, security agents stormed the University of Medical Sciences and Technology (UMST) campus in Khartoum and fired tear gas into classrooms, beat up students and arrested dozens of the student who were protesting inside the campus.

In Khartoum’s Burri and Omdurman’s Alabasyia districts, large numbers of security forces forced their way into people’s homes in Burri on Sunday, firing tear gas, beating up people and confiscating mobile phones.

The Troika countries and Canada underlined the need for inclusive political and economic reform in Sudan to address the grievances expressed by the protestors.

"Economic stability cannot be achieved without first reaching political consensus. Political consensus cannot be achieved by imprisoning, shooting, and criminalizing peaceful protesters," they further stressed.