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Sudan: Int’l Condemnation of Protester Deaths … Health Ministry Apologizes

Sudan: Int’l Condemnation of Protester Deaths … Health Ministry Apologizes

Friday, 11 January, 2019 - 09:30
Sudanese protesters chant anti-government slogans during a demonstration in the capital Khartoum on January 6, 2019 (AFP Photo)
New York - London - Khartoum - Ali Barada - Mustafa Seri - Asharq Al-Awsat
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Thursday that he was “following with concern” the violence that led to the deaths of demonstrators in Sudan, calling for “restraint” and a “full investigation” into the recent developments.
 
The Sudanese police acknowledged that at least three protesters were killed in demonstrations in the city of Omdurman on Wednesday. Twelve other people were injured as security forces fired tear gas and live bullets sporadically at protesters, prompting observers to describe the events as “Bloody Wednesday.”
 
Doctors announced a general strike in protest against the security forces storming into hospitals and firing bullets and tear gas at patients and staff alike.
 
The Sudanese government has confirmed the death of 19 people since the beginning of the protests, blaming the killing on acts of “vandalism and violence.”

The official death toll amounts to 22, with the three people killed on Wednesday. Those were not involved in any violent acts but were targeted in an unjustified security operation. Opposition forces, however, said that over 40 people were killed since the eruption of the demonstrations last month.
 
Khartoum’s Ministry of Health condemned attacks against Omdurman Hospital, saying security forces storming into the hospital was “unacceptable.” The ministry announced opening an investigation into the circumstances of the attack with the concerned authorities”, and confirmed the deployment of police elements to guard hospitals and protect doctors, health personnel and patients.
 
Asked by Asharq Al-Awsat to comment on demonstrations in several regions and cities in Sudan and the firing of live ammunition against protesters, UN Spokesman Farhan Haq said Guterres “is following with concern developments in the Republic of Sudan, including reported violence and the death” of protesters.
 
According to Haq, the secretary-general underlined the need for “calm and restraint” and called on the authorities to “conduct a thorough investigation into the deaths and violence.”
 
The European Union urged the Sudanese government to grant citizens the right to demonstrate, expressing concern about the killing of protesters. In a statement, the EU stressed that it was closely following up protests in the capital and a number of cities and the arrest of political leaders and activists, calling for restraint.
 
The Troika countries, including the United States, Norway and the United Kingdom, in addition to Canada, expressed concern over violence during protests in Sudan. They urged the government to immediately release the detainees and to conduct a full, transparent and independent investigation into the deaths of many demonstrators.

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