THE United States, the United Kingdom, Norway and the European Union on Tuesday called for Sudanese leaders to ‘recommit’ to the country’s democratic transition or risk international action against the ruling military.
The joint statement came following the resignation on Monday of Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who said he was stepping down after failure to reach consensus with the military on a pathway to transition to a civilian government.
The military had earlier detained Hamdok and other civilian leaders during an armed takeover of the government in October, citing stalled progress to transition to a democratic, civilian-led government.
The military dissolved the civilian-military transitional government that had been put in place in 2019 after a popular revolution ousted long time leader Omar al-Bashir in 2019.
The US, the UK, Norway – the so-called Troika – and the EU called the military’s seizure of power in October ‘unconstitutional’ and called for ‘all Sudanese leaders to recommit to the country’s democratic transition and deliver on the Sudanese people’s demands for freedom, peace, and justice.’
‘In the absence of progress, we would look to accelerate efforts to hold those actors impeding the democratic process accountable,’ the statement continued.
The US and its allies further condemned the military as responsible for human rights violations against the Sudanese people, as street protests opposing the military’s takeover of the transitional government have reportedly been met with deadly force and disturbing violence.
The statement cited the killing of scores of Sudanese civilians, sexual violence, and hundreds of civilians injured by the military or armed groups and called for the military to cease attacks on hospitals, end the detention of activities and journalists, and stop communication blackouts.
‘The right of the Sudanese people to assemble peacefully and express their demands needs to be protected. We expect the security services and other armed groups to refrain from using further violence against peaceful protestors and civilians across the country, especially in Darfur,’ the statement read.
The Western powers also warned against the military taking ‘unilateral action’ to appoint a new prime minister and Cabinet that did not involve ‘a broad range of civilian stakeholders.’
‘Such a dialogue should be fully inclusive and representative of historically marginalized groups, include youth and women, and would help put the country back on the path to democracy,’ the statement read.
‘Sudan’s people have spoken as loudly and clearly as they did in 2019. They reject authoritarian rule and want the transition toward democracy to continue. Sudan’s leaders must now show they are listening,’ it added.