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US says it sees promise in Sudan protest ‘restraint’

Sudanese anti-coup protesters attend a gathering in the capital Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman on October 30, 2021, to express their support for the country's democratic transition which a military takeover and deadly crackdown derailed. (AFP)
Sudanese anti-coup protesters attend a gathering in the capital Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman on October 30, 2021, to express their support for the country's democratic transition which a military takeover and deadly crackdown derailed. (AFP)

WASHINGTON (AFP) — A US envoy applauds what he sees as restraint during Sudan’s demonstrations against its recent military coup, seeing a hopeful sign for a peaceful return to civilian-backed rule.

The United States has voiced alarm and warned Sudan’s military not to use force ahead of mass protests called for Saturday over the October 25 ouster of the civilian leadership.

Jeffrey Feltman, the US special envoy for the Horn of Africa, says that the death toll of three was “far too many,” but adds: “We also commend those members of security forces who exercised restraint and upheld their obligations to respect human rights.”

Feltman says demonstrators also showed restraint by mostly avoiding sensitive military sites.

“You saw evidence, I think, of the Sudanese understanding that they need to get themselves out of this crisis by the conduct of the demonstrations,” Feltman tells reporters. It “demonstrated an understanding by the Sudanese people themselves that they have to be careful and find a way back to the civilian-military partnership that this transition requires.”

He renews a call for General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan to restore the civilian government, saying that Washington’s suspension of $700 million in aid shows that the military can not rule alone.

“I think that the military will recognize that they need the type of international support that was being given to the transitional authorities,” Feltman says.

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