WASHINGTON — US President Joe Biden on Thursday demanded that Sudan’s military immediately restore the nation to civilian rule, joining European and UN calls for an end to violence against peaceful demonstrators and the release of detainees.
“Our message to Sudan’s military authorities is overwhelming and clear: the Sudanese people must be allowed to protest peacefully and the civilian-led transitional government must be restored,” Biden said in a statement.
The American president described the events of recent days as “a grave setback” for Sudan, referring to the military coup which plunged the poverty-stricken African country into chaos.
Several protesters have been killed in days of street violence in the capital Khartoum, as the abrupt collapse of Sudan’s transition to democracy sparked an international outcry.
“I urge Sudan’s military leaders to immediately release all those detained and restore the institutions associated with the transitional government,” Biden said.
General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan — Sudan’s de facto leader since the 2019 ouster of veteran autocrat Omar al-Bashir after huge youth-led protests — on Monday dissolved the country’s fragile government.
Washington joined world powers, the UN Security Council, the African Union and Arab League in what Biden said was an “international chorus” of condemnation against the military takeover.
The United States “will continue to stand with the people of Sudan and their non-violent struggle to advance the goals of Sudan’s revolution,” Biden said.
“Freedom, equality, government under rule of law, and respect for human rights must be the foundation for future security and prosperity in Sudan, just as they are all around the world,” he added.