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US Embassy ‘troubled’ by frequent violence in Sudan protests

February 12 - 2019 KHARTOUM
The US embassy in Khartoum (
The US embassy in Khartoum (

In a statement on Facebook, the Embassy of the United States in Khartoum said that it is “troubled” by the frequent use of force by the Sudanese government’s security forces against the country-wide demonstrations.

The violence includes “use of live fire and beatings and the entering of mosques, hospitals, schools, private homes, and other locations that should be recognised places of safety,” the statement reads.

The embassy calls on Khartoum to recognise “the rights of the Sudanese people to live their lives without fear of violence or persecution for simply seeking to continue to peacefully voice their legitimate grievances.

“In response to the current situation, we note the release of detained journalists and call for the release of the many other political opposition leaders, human rights activists, and peaceful protesters still in detention.”

The embassy has welcomed the efforts of Sudan to investigate the death of the teacher Ahmed El Kheir. In a report presented by the investigative committee, marks on the body show that El Kheir was tortured to death in detention of the security service.

“We believe that a transparent, independent investigation that holds responsible officials to account will lead to a change in the government’s treatment of those held in detention.”

Mosque attack

On Friday, witnesses from a mosque in Wad Nubawi told Radio Dabanga that the security forces fired tear gas inside the mosque and besieged the mosque with armoured vehicles.

Hundreds of demonstrators took part in demonstrations in Wad Nubawi, Beit El Mal in Omdurman, and Jabra, El Kalakla and Burri in Khartoum, and El Haj Yousef in Khartoum North.

Chargé d’Affaires Steven Koutsis met with Imam Sadiq El Mahdi to discuss the inappropriate attack on the mosque and its worshipers. The statement by the embassy states that in this incident, Sudanese security forces “fired teargas and beat worshippers attempting to stage a peaceful demonstration after Friday prayers, resulting in injuries to several worshippers”.

On January 23, the Deputy Spokesperson for the US Department of State in Washington DC warned the Sudanese government in a statement that “A new, more positive relationship between the United States and Sudan requires meaningful political reform and clear, sustained progress on respect for human rights. This must include prohibiting the security services’ use of arbitrary detention and excessive force against protesters, and ending the government’s harassment and intimidation of journalists, human rights defenders, political opposition, medical personnel, students, and other civil society actors.”

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