‘No improvement in Sudan’s war zones”: US Deputy
The US Deputy Secretary of State for Democracy and Human Rights, who visited Sudan last week, reported that his country's position on the Darfur issue has not changed, and that he has not seen any improvement in the situation in Darfur, or other war zones.
Concluding his visit on Thursday, Steven Feldstein told reporters in Khartoum that the USA condemns the targeting of civilians and the Sudanese government’s denial of access to humanitarian assistance in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan, and the Blue Nile.
The American official stressed the importance of a ceasefire between the government and the armed movements, to facilitate the delivery of assistance, relief, and the protection of the displaced in the war-torn regions.
He also reported that representatives of the Sudanese government admitted abuses of human rights and freedom of expression. He said that he explicitly demanded from the officials he met in Khartoum to release the political detainees, stop confiscating newspapers, and abolish restrictions on the freedom of expression.
Sudan also represents a real concern to America regarding freedom of belief and religion, Feldstein stated, adding that the USA is currently not involved in any dialogue with the Sudanese government. His government will continue to emphasise key democracy and human rights priorities in Sudan.
Inclusive political dialogue
Feldstein’s engagement with non-governmental representatives and government officials reinforces the US’ belief that a comprehensive and inclusive national dialogue to address the deteriorating environment for human rights and civil liberties is urgent, the US Department of State said in a media note on Saturday.
“In the coming weeks, the USA will be working closely with international partners to encourage and support an inclusive political dialogue, including by continuing to press for a cessation of hostilities in all conflict areas.
“The USA will continue to condition development of its bilateral relationship with Sudan on the Sudanese government improvement of its respect for human rights and democratic principles.”
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