Sudan: International Troika Voices Concern Over State of Emergency in Sudan

Protest in Sudan (file photo).

London / Washington / Oslo / Ottawa — The Troika (the UK, USA, and Norway) and Canada have voiced their concern about the proclamation of a State of Emergency in Sudan, emergency orders, and the appointment of senior military and security members to senior government positions.

In a joint statement yesterday, the international group voiced deep concern: "In particular, President Al Bashir's recent decisions to declare a national State of Emergency, to appoint military and security members to senior government positions, and to issue emergency orders criminalising peaceful demonstrations and allowing security forces to act with impunity will further erode human rights, governance and effective economic management."

'Return to military rule'

The statement asserts that "the return to military rule does not create a conducive environment for a renewed political dialogue or credible elections. We note the ongoing detention of political leaders, activists and journalists, and call upon the Government of Sudan to abide by its public commitments to free them as well as others who have been arbitrarily detained. We also note continuing reports of unacceptable use of live fire, beating of protestors and mistreatment of detainees."

The statement suggests that "there remains a clear need for political and economic reform in Sudan that is fully inclusive, and which addresses the legitimate grievances expressed by the protestors. Economic stability cannot be achieved without first reaching political consensus. Political consensus cannot be achieved by imprisoning, shooting, and criminalizing peaceful protesters."

Troika countries and Canada say they will continue to monitor the situation closely, and to emphasise that "the government of Sudan's response to these protests and the actions of the military-led government will determine our countries' future engagement".

Restraint

In a statement in January, the Troika and Canada warned that "the government of Sudan's actions and decisions over the coming weeks will have an impact on the engagement of our governments and others in the coming months and years," and urged the government of Sudan "to respond to the current challenges by implementing the necessary political reforms, to allow the Sudanese people to exercise their constitutional rights to peacefully express their political, economic and social views freely and without any fear of retaliation or persecution."

In an earlier statement following the start of the mass protests in December, the Troika expressed "concern about the violence occurring during recent protests in Sudan, including credible reports of the use of live fire by the government of Sudan and of multiple deaths during several protests."

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