New York — The office of the spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres, issued a statement on Friday voicing concern over the developments surrounding the ongoing public protests in Sudan, and reports of violence and fatalities.
"The Secretary-General is following with concern developments in the Republic of Sudan, including the reported violence and fatalities," the statement reads.
"He appeals for calm and restraint and calls on the authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the deaths and violence. He extends his condolences to all those who have lost loved ones in the violence."
The statement concludes: "The Secretary-General emphasises the need to safeguard freedom of expression and peaceful assembly."
As reported previously by Radio Dabanga, the Sudanese government has released figures of deaths and injuries during last week's mass protests, however the numbers quoted by Khartoum fall considerably lower than independent estimates.
Sudan's Information Minister, Bushara Juma, said at a press conference in Khartoum that 19 people were killed during the demonstrations in the country that began on Wednesday last week. Juma asserts that 219 people were wounded, while the number of injured regular forces reached 187.
This official figure is at odds with independent estimates reaching this station. On December 24, Amnesty International quoted "credible reports that 37 protesters have been shot dead by the security forces in five days of anti-government demonstrations that have rocked the country".
Other independent sources within Sudan confirm the Amnesty International figures.