Sudanese judges, US denounce crackdown on anti-coup protesters | Conflict News

Thuosands resume anti-coup protests in Sudan as US diplomats try to bolster the UN efforts to cajole the military in restoring the transition to full civilian rule.

Sudanese judges have condemned violence against anti-coup protesters as the United States said it would consider taking steps against those holding up efforts to resolve Sudan’s political crisis.

At least 72 people have been killed and more than 2,000 wounded as security forces have cracked down on regular protests since the October 25 coup, according to a count by an independent group of medics.

Led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the coup derailed a civilian-military power-sharing deal painstakingly negotiated after the 2019 removal of longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir.

Thousands of protesters took the streets again on Thursday, angered by the killing of at least seven people during a crackdown against protesters on Monday, one of the deadliest days since the coup.

In a tactic used repeatedly, security forces fired tear gas at protesters who rallied in the capital’s twin city of Omdurman, according to witnesses.

The rallies followed calls by Sudan’s main civilian bloc – the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) – for demonstrations “in tribute to the martyrs”.

Protesters in Khartoum beat drums and chanted anti-military slogans. Many reiterated calls for the military to leave power completely.

In Wad Madani city to the south, protesters chanted “blood for blood, we will not accept compensations”, according to Adel Ahmed, a witness.

Protesters on Thursday also called on the United Nations special representative to Sudan, Volker Perthes, “to leave”.

Last week, Perthes launched consultations with Sudanese factions in a bid to resolve Sudan’s political crisis.

The ruling Sovereign Council – led by al-Burhan following the coup with himself as chairman – has welcomed the UN-led dialogue, as have the United States, the United Kingdom, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

The FFC also joined consultations “to restore the democratic transition”.

Frozen support

The coup drew condemnation from Western powers which largely froze badly needed economic assistance to Sudan.

That assistance would only be restarted if violence ended and a civilian-led government was restored, visiting US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Molly Phee and newly-appointed special envoy David Satterfield said.

Condemning the use of force on protesters, they “made clear the United States will consider measures to hold accountable those responsible for failure to move forward” with a political transition and an end to violence, a US statement said.

People burn tyres and chant slogans during a demonstration in SudanPeople burn tyres and chant slogans during a demonstration in Khartoum, Sudan against the killing of dozens by Sudanese security forces [Marwan Ali/AP Photo]

The envoys called for independent investigations into deaths and injuries among those protesting against the military.

Meanwhile, in a rare public statement on Thursday 55 Sudanese judges to the judiciary chief said military leaders had “violated agreements and covenants since the October 25 coup, as they have carried out the most heinous violations against defenceless protesters”.

They called for an end to the violence and a criminal investigation.

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