Sudan at critical point in democratic transition says United States

Sudan’s transition toward democracy is encouraging but there are numerous human rights concerns and issues that need to be addressed, said U.S. Deputy Representative to the United Nations Richard Mills Thursday.

“We strongly encourage the civilian-led transitional government to commit – with conviction – to ensuring that all Sudanese feel safe and secure in their communities and their livelihoods,” said Ambassador Mills at Thursday’s U.N. Security Council briefing.

Two protesters were killed in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum on May 11 when security forces dispersed a protest, firing rounds of tear gas into the crowd.

In what has since become known as the Khartoum massacre, over 100 people were killed on June 3, 2019 when the armed forces of the Sudanese Transitional Military Council used gunfire and tear gas to disperse a large demonstration.

Ambassador Mills expressed concern for these developments Thursday and called on the Sudanese government to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions.

“Despite these concerns, let me be clear that the United States commends the progress in mediation efforts that have occurred under the auspices of the South Sudanese Government aimed at building upon the Juba Peace Agreement and bridging divides between the government of Sudan and armed opposition groups,” said Mills.

The United States continues to assert that democracy and mediation are the best way forward in Sudan. Ambassador Mills underscored Thursday the importance of concluding negotiations and reaching a fruitful agreement between the Sudanese government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement.

As the Sudan Liberation Movement’s Abdul Wahid Al Nur has been unwilling to participate in mediation efforts or productive peace talks, the U.S. Deputy Representative to the United Nations said, “Such intransigence defies the calls of the millions of brave Sudanese who demanded peace during the revolution.”

While Sudan is on a path toward democracy, the path is winding and littered with obstacles. For this reason, the defense of human rights and democratic values is instrumental in ensuring the nation’s successful democratic transition and future stability.

In order to fully embrace democracy and create change, Sudan must choose to prioritize accountability as well as the open and honest accessibility of information.

Noah Pitcher is a global politics correspondent for Today News Africa covering the U.S. government, United Nations, African Union, and other actors involved in international developments, political controversies, and humanitarian issues.

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