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Sudan military committed to ‘ensuring stability’ and ‘peaceful transition’ says senior diplomat, as UN rights chief appeals for protesters’ rights to be upheld

12 April 2019

Sudan’s military has an “overarching duty” to refrain from using violence against protesters and ensure that their human rights are protected amid concerns of a further escalation, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said on Friday.

Her comments followed the ousting of President Omar al-Bashir, announced on State television on Thursday, accompanied by the declaration from the defence minister, that a military council would govern the country for up to two years.

Those developments come amid protests that erupted nearly four months ago when the Government attempted to raise the prices of bread and basic commodities, and which are also believed to have claimed dozens of lives.

Transition back to civilian rule ‘could be shortened’

Speaking in the Security Council on Friday morning, Sudan’s Deputy Ambassador, Yasir Abdullah Abdelsalam, said that the military council’s imposition of a State of Emergency for three months, a suspension of the constitution and nightly curfew, had been done in response to “the demands of the crowds…who have expressed their aspirations and their demands”

He said the military council was committed to respecting all international agreements, and “a peaceful transition”, in which it would be the “guarantor” of a return to “civilian government”.

“No party will be excluded” from the future electoral process, he added, including armed groups. He told Council member the suspension of the constitution “could be lifted at any point” and the transitional period back to civilian rule “could be shortened, depending on developments on the ground and agreements reached between stakeholders”.

But he noted firmly that Sudan’s political crisis was “a domestic matter” and a “delicate situation” that posed a “threat to its immediate and future stability”

“Any democratic process requires time and that should not be threatened. We do not wish to see the nascent gradual democratic process unravel in the name of democracy”, he said.

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