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Blinken demands Sudan allow peaceful protests after deadliest day since coup

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a meeting with Nigerian Vice President at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja, Nigeria, on November 18, 2021. (Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a meeting with Nigerian Vice President at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja, Nigeria, on November 18, 2021. (Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP)

ABUJA, Nigeria — US Secretary of State Antony Blinken today condemns the killing a day earlier of Sudanese protesters in the bloodiest violence since last month’s coup, urging the military to allow peaceful demonstrations.

“The military must respect the rights of civilians to assemble peacefully and express their views,” Blinken tells a news conference in the Nigerian capital Abuja, saying he was “deeply concerned” by yesterday’s bloodshed in which 15 people died.

“We continue to support the demand of the Sudanese people for the restoration of the civilian-led transition,” Blinken says, including the reinstatement of prime minister Abdalla Hamdok.

Despite the violence, US officials have voiced guarded hope about finding a way out of the crisis.

Molly Phee, the top US diplomat for Africa, travelled earlier this week to Sudan where she met military ruler Abdel Fattah al-Burhan as well as Hamdok.

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