CAIRO, Nov. 12 (Reuters) – The United States and other Western powers on Friday expressed deep concern over the appointment of a new Sudanese ruling council by the general who led the month’s coup last, saying it complicates efforts to restore a transition to democracy.
The United States, Britain, Norway, the European Union and Switzerland also urged security services to respect the right to free speech “without fear of violence or detention” ahead of planned protests. Saturday by critics of the military’s decision.
Sudanese state of Khartoum has said it will close all but three bridges over the Nile at midnight ahead of Saturday’s protests, Sudanese television reported, announcing what is a routine measure to tighten security ahead of the rallies.
General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan was sworn in on Thursday as the head of the new Sovereign Council, which replaces the power-sharing body he dissolved last month in a takeover that derailed the country’s transition. Sudan towards civilian rule.
The leader of the powerful paramilitary rapid support forces in Sudan, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, was sworn in as his deputy.
The military’s move undermined its commitment to abide by transitional arrangements requiring council civilians to be appointed by the Forces for Freedom and Change, a coalition that has shared power with the military since 2019, a joint statement by United States and other countries. noted.
This “complicates efforts to get Sudan’s democratic transition back on track,” they said, adding that the move was “in violation” of an agreement defining the transition.
“We strongly urge not to take further escalation steps. “
In Geneva, the highest UN human rights official, Michelle Bachelet, appointed Adama Dieng, former UN adviser on genocide prevention, to monitor “the evolution of the human rights situation. man ”in Sudan. His tenure will end when the civilian-led government is reestablished, a UN statement said.
Abdalla Hamdok, the Prime Minister ousted by the October 25 coup, is still under house arrest. Hamdok demanded the release of senior civilians and a return to the transition that began after the ousting of autocrat Omar al-Bashir in 2019.
Earlier, Volker Perthes, the UN Special Representative for Sudan, said that the military’s unilateral decision on Thursday “makes it more and more difficult to restore constitutional order”.
Referring to the protests scheduled for Saturday, Perthes also called on the security forces to exercise the utmost restraint and respect the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.
Security forces shot dead three people in the last major protest against the takeover on October 31. A total of 15 protesters have been killed since the coup.
Reporting by Nafisa Eltahir and Lilian Wagdy in Cairo, Stephanie Nebehay and Emma Farge in Geneva and Christian Lowe in Paris; Writing by Tom Perry and William Maclean; Editing by Hugh Lawson
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