Sudan: African Union Deplores Deadly Dispersal of Khartoum Sit-in

Soldiers on the streets of Khartoum, June 4, 2019.

Addis Ababa — The African Union (AU) has issued a statement strongly condemning the violence that erupted in Khartoum today. At least 13 protestors have been killed when the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militia and police forcibly ended the sit-in that has been sustained since April 6 at the army's general command in Khartoum.

In today's statement, the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki, calls for "an immediate and transparent investigation in order to hold those responsible accountable". He also calls on the Transitional Military Council (TMC) to protect civilians from further harm.

In his statement, Faki reminds all parties in Sudan of the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) Communiqué of 30 April 2019 on Sudan, which demanded all Sudanese stakeholders to return to the negotiations urgently in order to arrive at an inclusive accord, which paves the way for a civilian-led Transitional Authority.

Faki also calls on "all international partners to reinforce common efforts towards the immediate cessation of the violence and rapid resumption of negotiations for a political settlement".

He says that given the tense situation in the country, all concerned should "exercise outmost restraint and to respect the rights of citizens, in the interest of the country and its people".

In his statement, Faki reiterates the African Union's determination to continue to engage and accompany the Sudanese people to support the consolidation of a political agreement in line with the relevant AU Peace and Security Council decisions.

Coup

The TMC seized power on April 11 by means of a coup, overthrowing the 30-year regime of President Omar Al Bashir, who himself seized power in a coup in 1989.

In an initial reaction on 15 April, the AUPSC denounced the coup d'état, and gave the TMC 15 days to relinquish power to a civilian interim government, on pain of possible suspension of Sudan's AU membership.

A meeting of AU leaders in Cairo on April 23 recommended allowing the junta three months to relinquish power to civilian authority, however at a subsequent meeting in Tunis on May 1, the AUPSC decided on "a final extension of 60 days".

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