EU denounces violence against anti-coup protesters in Sudan

Jan 18, 2022, 4:30 AM | Updated: 7:06 am
People set up a barricade as part of a civil disobedience campaign following the killing of 7 anti-...

People set up a barricade as part of a civil disobedience campaign following the killing of 7 anti-coup demonstrators in Khartoum, Sudan, Tuesday, Jan.18, 2022. The pro-democracy movement condemned Monday's deadly shootings and called for a two-day civil disobedience campaign over the security forces' actions. (AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

CAIRO (AP) — The European Union’s foreign policy chief on Tuesday said Sudan’s military rulers have shown an unwillingness to negotiate a peaceful settlement to the country’s ongoing crisis, a day after security forces opened fire on anti-coup protesters in the capital, Khartoum. At least seven people were killed.

Across Sudan, the pro-democracy movement kicked off a civil disobedience campaign to protest Monday’s killings. More than 70 people have been killed and hundreds of others have been wounded in mass protests since the military took over on Oct. 25, removing the country’s civilian-led government.

EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said that repeated calls for Sudanese authorities to refrain from violence against protesters “have fallen on deaf ears.”

The coup has upended Sudan’s transition to democratic rule after three decades of repression and international isolation under autocratic President Omar al-Bashir. The African nation has been on a fragile path to democracy since a popular uprising forced the military to remove al-Bashir and his Islamist government in April 2019.

Borrell said the ongoing crackdown, including violence against civilians and the detention of activists and journalists, has put Sudan on “a dangerous path away from peace and stability.”

He urged the military authorities to de-escalate tensions, saying that “avoiding further loss of life is of the essence.”

The crackdown, Borrell said, also risks derailing U.N. efforts to find a peaceful solution to the crisis that has worsened with the resignation of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok earlier this month.

Hamdok, who was ousted in the October coup only to be reinstated a month later under heavy international pressure, stepped down on Jan. 2 after his efforts to reach a compromise failed. He was the civilian face of the transitional government over the past two years.

There was no immediate comment from Khartoum to EU’s condemnation but Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, head of the ruling sovereign council, ordered the formation of a fact-finding commission to investigate the killings, the council said. The commission, which will include security agencies and the public prosecution, has 72 hours to report back, it said.

Monday was one of the deadliest in Sudan since the coup. Security forces used live ammunition and tear gas to disperse thousands of demonstrators in Khartoum. Along with the seven killed, around 100 were wounded, according to the Sudan Doctors Committee.

The Doctors Without Borders medical group, which is known by its French acronym MSF, said it was “very chaotic” Monday at the al-Jawda hospital in Khartoum, where at least 60 people were treated from gunshots.

“Not only were hospitals dealing with the influx of wounded, but they were also inundated by crowds of caretakers, understandably upset by what had happened,” said Michel Oliver Lacharite, MSF’s head of emergencies.

Police said in a statement that protesters resorted to violence and threw Molotov cocktails on the security forces, in a “military-like tactic,” despite their calls for protest leaders to coordinate the route of their marches.

The statement said police used “the least amount of legal force” against attempted attacks on police stations in Khartoum and its twin city of Omdurman. It said at least 50 policemen were injured, and 77 people were arrested.

Also Tuesday, the Friends of Sudan group is convening virtually in Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh, to rally support for U.N. efforts to end the ongoing deadlock. The group, including the United States, Britain and other international governments and world financial institutions, is meant to support Sudan’s transition to democratic rule.

“International support and leverage is needed. Support for political process needs to go along with active support to stop violence,” tweeted Volker Perthes, the U.N. envoy for Sudan.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Molly Phee and the U.S. newly appointed special envoy for the Horn of Africa, David Satterfield, are attending the Riyadh meeting. They will then travel to Khartoum to meet with the generals and other political leaders and activists in the crisis, according to the State Department.

The protest groups, which have continued to mobilize protesters against the coup, have rejected negotiations with the generals. They insist on handing over power to a fully civilian government to lead the transition.

Though the generals welcomed a U.N. effort to find a way out of the deadlock, they have repeatedly said they will only hand over power to an elected government. They said elections will take place as scheduled next year.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


A Ukrainian serviceman changes his position at the frontline near Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Saturday, Ju...
Associated Press

Governor: Russians gaining foothold in pivotal Ukraine city

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian forces are strengthening their positions in a grueling fight to capture the last stronghold of resistance in eastern Ukraine’s Luhansk province, the region’s governor said Sunday. Ukrainian fighters have spent weeks trying to defend the city of Lysychansk, and to keep it from falling to Russia, as neighboring Sievierodonetsk did […]
2 hours ago
Associated Press

North Texas shooter kills 2, wounds 3 cops, takes own life

HALTOM CITY, Texas (AP) — A gunman killed two people and wounded four others, including three police officers, before taking his own life Saturday evening in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, police said. Haltom City Police Det. Matt Spillane said early Sunday that all of those wounded in the shooting in a residential neighborhood had non-life […]
1 day ago
FILE - In this Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011 file photo, Associated Press Special Regional Correspondent f...
Associated Press

Hope and despair: Kathy Gannon on 35 years in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Afghan policeman opened fire on us with his AK-47, emptying 26 bullets into the back of the car. Seven slammed into me, and at least as many into my colleague, Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus. She died at my side. Anja weighed heavy against my shoulder. I tried to look […]
1 day ago
FILE - In this Monday, Nov. 18, 2019 file photo, the logo of Google is displayed on a carpet at the...
Associated Press

Google to erase more location info as abortion bans expand

Google will automatically purge information about users who visit abortion clinics or other places that could trigger legal problems now that the U.S. Supreme Court has opened the door for states to ban the termination of pregnancies.
1 day ago
FILE - President Joe Biden, center, meets with South Korea's President Yoon Suk Yeol, left, and Jap...
Associated Press

North Korea slams US-South Korea-Japan military cooperation

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea on Sunday slammed the United States, South Korea and Japan for pushing to boost their trilateral military cooperation targeting the North, warning that the move is prompting urgent calls for the country to reinforce its military capability. North Korea has long cited what it calls hostility by the […]
1 day ago
FILE - Uvalde School Police Chief Pete Arredondo, second from left, stands during a news conference...
Associated Press

Uvalde schools’ police chief resigns from City Council

The Uvalde school district’s police chief has stepped down from his position in the City Council just weeks after being sworn in following allegations that he erred in his response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School that left 19 students and two teachers dead. Chief Pete Arredondo said in a letter dated Friday […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
EU denounces violence against anti-coup protesters in Sudan