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US: Efforts to Remove Sudan from Terror List Under Threat

US: Efforts to Remove Sudan from Terror List Under Threat

Thursday, 21 February, 2019 - 08:15
A fire burns on a street in Atbara in northeastern Sudan during protests over rising prices on December 20, 2018. Reuters
Khartoum - Ahmed Younis
“Excessive violence” used by Sudanese security forces to suppress anti-government protests could threaten talks to remove Sudan from Washington’s state sponsors of terrorism list, a senior US official said on Wednesday.
 
Cyril Sartor, senior director for Africa at the US National Security Council, said that the US-Sudan negotiating process “which could eventually lead to the lifting of state sponsors of terrorism designation... is being threatened by the current developments.”
 
In an interview with AFP at the end of a four-day visit to Khartoum, Sartor said: “It is absolutely unacceptable for security forces to use excessive violence to crack down on demonstrators, to use detention without charge, certainly unacceptable to use brutality, torture... and needless to say there’s no reason anyone should be killed.”
 
Meanwhile, several cities are preparing for a march organized by the Sudanese Professionals’ Gathering and its allied forces, where opposition leaders are expected to participate publicly for the first time since the protests began in December.
 
“All political leaders of the political forces will participate in the march against President Omar al-Bashir. It is set to kick off from several areas in the center of the capital Khartoum,” Communist Party Secretary Mohammad Mokhtar al-Khatib told Asharq Al-Awsat.
 
Spokesman for the Professionals’ Gathering, Mohammed Yusuf Ahmed Mustafa, said: “We expect the authorities to confront us in a violent manner, with arrests and beatings, but we will not halt the demonstrations or stop exercising our freedom of expression, which is guaranteed by the constitution and not restricted by any Sudanese law. We are determined to follow the peaceful path.”
 
“Despite our insistence on peaceful assembly, we are certain that the authorities will treat us in a violent manner, like criminals,” Mustafa noted, in remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat.

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