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News from Khartoum

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European Union calls for release of all opponents in Sudan

The European Union on Friday urged de-escalation of the situation, while commenting on the use of violence to repress anti-government demonstrations. It called for the release of all opposition members arbitrarily detained. “we are awaiting the Sudanese government to release all journalist, opposition figures and human rights defenders, other demonstrators arbitrarily detained and conduct an in-depth investigation on cases of deaths and recent excesses,” according to statement by EU spokesperson. “The work of the committee announced by the government will be closely monitored,” The spokesperson said. The spokesperson highlighted the call by the EU External Relations official Federica Mogherini to all parties to “de-escalate the situation and exercise restraint”. “It is the responsibility of Sudanese authorities to guarantee the right of freedom of assembly and expression according to the international law,” she said. “All parties must exercise restraint and desist from further violence in order to calm the situation,”

A number of capital Khartoum’s neighborhoods saw sporadic demonstrations organized yesterday after the Friday prayer, with worshippers chanting familiar slogans such as “the people want to overthrow the regime” and “peaceful peaceful demo against the thieves” as well as other slogans. Until Wednesday, the popular protests in Sudan which erupted on 19 December entered their third week and are organized in about 25 Sudanese cities besides at a number of other villages against rising prices particularly bread but demonstrators raised the level of their demands to include regime change.

Restricting the right of people to freedom of express and peaceful assembly is one of the main drivers of the crisis Sudan is currently experiencing. Such restriction also represents a violation of all international charters and covenants of human rights to which Sudan is a party and is enshrined in the constitution. Respect to the right of citizens to peaceful assembly and expression is a must for any approach seeking to address crises Sudan is presently experiencing as well as it is a moral and constitutional obligation.