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USA, AU decry El Obeid massacre, urge Sudan negotiators to hasten agreement

July 31 - 2019 KHARTOUM (UPDATED)
AU Mediator Mohamed Lebatt (SUNA)
AU Mediator Mohamed Lebatt (SUNA)

The African mediator in the Sudan negotiations between the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) has condemned Monday’s shooting in Obeid, capital of North Kordofan, which left five people dead and dozens injured, and urged the parties to hasten an agreement so that the perpetrators of the massacre can be brought to justice. The US Embassy in Khartoum also expressed 'grief' at the news.

According to the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA), the African Union mediator, Mohamed Lebatt, said in a press conference at the AU premises in Khartoum today that “the AU strongly rejects killing of peaceful protesters”, and pointed to the necessity of bringing the culprits to fair trial in order to be punished.

He indicated the joint negotiation committee was about to conclude its work, disclosing that the signing of the Constitutional Document would contribute to formation of an independent committee to investigate in the recent incidents.

Lebatt, called on the negotiating parties to be hasty in concluding the agreement for the national interest.

US Embassy

In a statement via social media, the US Embassy in Khartoum says that it "received with grief the news that civilian demonstrators were killed while protesting in El Obeid. We mourn their loss, and condemn the violence that took them from their friends and families. The use of live ammunition is never an appropriate response to a peaceful demonstration. This tragic event makes even more urgent the formation of a civilian-led transitional government that is broadly supported by the Sudanese people."

El Obeid massacre

Members of the Rapid Support Forces, Sudan’s main government militia, reportedly began shooting at secondary school students and activists demonstrating in the North Kordofan capital on Monday morning. Five of them were killed instantly. Dozens of others were injured, eight of them seriously.

Nazifa Awad, a doctor at El Obeid Hospital, told Radio Dabanga that the death toll following Monday’s shoot remains at five.

“The number of wounded in El Obeid Hospital alone is 62. Two others were transferred to El Daman Hospital.” The doctor said that four serious cases were transferred to Khartoum. Two of them are in a coma due to gunshots to the head.

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