Crackdown on Peaceful Demonstrators Escalates in Khartoum

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Sudanese authorities’ crackdown on peaceful demonstrators has escalated in Sudan’s sprawling capital Khartoum.

Reports say demonstrations led by students against rising costs of living have erupted in different parts Khartoum. Police forces reportedly resorted to the use of teargas and batons to break up the demonstrators.

At DC, Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland said in a press statement that the United States is deeply concerned by the crackdown by the Sudanese authorities on peaceful demonstrators in Khartoum over the last three days.

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United Nations Police Officers from the UN Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) are training the police officers in the south of Sudan in VIP protection tactics. UN Photo/Tim McKulka

The United States calls on the Government of Sudan to respect the right of its citizens to freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly in order to raise their grievances.

Ms. Nuland notes that in addition to the crackdowns on peaceful demonstrators, the US government is concerned that Sudanese authorities have increased pre-publication censorship of independent newspapers in recent weeks.

“We call on Sudan to respect freedom of expressing, including for members of the press, as guaranteed in the Interim National Constitution of 2005 and internationally recognized covenants to which the Government of Sudan is party.” -Ms. Nuland

Late of March this year, military clashes have erupted in the border region of Sudan and South Sudan.

Media reports say South Sudan accused Sudan of sending warplanes to bomb two border areas.

Meanwhile, Sudan accused the southern army of attacking the oil-producing Heglig region wherein parts of which are claimed by both warring nations.

The military clashes prompted Sudan’s President Omar Al-Bashir to suspend plans to attend a meeting with his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir on 3 April.

In July 2011, South Sudan, Africa’s 54th nation was born. Millions of people celebrated a new national identity and new national promise. For more than two decades, Sudan has been riven by intense fighting over land and resources.

However, the security situation in the disputed area of Abyei remains fragile, with both South Sudan and Sudan failing to withdraw their armed forces as agreed under a demilitarization pact reached in June 2011.

South Sudan became independent from Sudan on 9 July. A referendum on the status of the Abyei area on the border was to have been held in January this year, but never took place amid disagreement on voter eligibility.

Dozens of people have been killed this year as a result of clashes in Abyei and surrounding areas and tens of thousands of have been forced to flee their homes.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.