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U.S. Congress delegation wouldn’t mediate between Sudanese government and opposition

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National Assembly building (File photo Getty)
March 16, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese parliament on Saturday said the visiting U.S. Congressional delegation hasn’t offered to mediate between the government and the opposition.

Deadly protests have rocked Sudan since December 19, with demonstrators holding nationwide rallies calling on President Omer al-Bashir to resign.

The government said 31 people have died in the violence, while other credible reports including from Human Rights Watch says at least 51 people have been killed. Also, dozens of demonstrators have been injured and hundreds arrested during the protests.

A delegation from the U.S. Congress has started a three-day visit to Khartoum on Saturday during which it would meet with government officials and opposition figures.

In press statements on Saturday, the deputy chairman of the parliamentary sub-committee on foreign relations Mutwakil Ahmed pointed out that the visit has nothing to do with the mediation between the government and the opposition.

He added the visiting delegation on Saturday has discussed with the director of the intelligence services Salah Abdallah (aka Gosh) ways to promote bilateral relations particularly the second phase of dialogue between the two countries.

According to Ahmed, the meeting also discussed religious freedoms in the country as well as Sudan’s positive efforts on counter-terrorism.

Last November, Khartoum and Washington signed a framework agreement for Sudan removal from the list of countries supporting terrorism, accordingly Khartoum has to ensure freedoms and fundamental democratic reforms.

Last month, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed hope that calls by Sudanese people for regime change will be heard.

Also, during his visit to Khartoum last month, the Senior Director for Africa at the National Security Council (NSC) and Special Assistant to the U.S. President Cyril Sartor called for the need to ensure freedoms in Sudan.

He pointed out that he understands that “Sudan is going through a complex transition”, calling on the government to “respect the right of people to express themselves peacefully”.

However, the U.S. official stressed that “there are no external solutions to be imposed on Sudan”.

(ST)

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