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Crackdown In Sudan

Sudanese anti-government protesters chant slogans during a demonstration in Khartoum, Sudan,Sept. 29, 2013.(AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

A brutal crackdown by Sudanese security forces resulted in dozens of deaths and hundreds of arrests.

Protestors have taken to the streets in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, angered over inflation, cuts in fuel subsidies, and other grievances. A brutal crackdown by Sudanese security forces, which resulted in dozens of deaths and hundreds of arrests, brought more people into the streets to protest Government actions. In the latest demonstration, some 3,000 people turned out to show support for the family of a man shot and killed during a protest last week. Following a memorial for the dead man, many in the crowd blocked the street and chanted demands that President Omar al-Bashir resign.

Crackdown In Sudan
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The United States condemns the Sudanese government’s crackdown and use of excessive force against peaceful civilians. The use of live ammunition against civilian protesters is disproportionate and risks the escalation of the unrest. Sudan faces serious challenges that cannot be solved by mass arrests of civil society activists attending the rallies, and the shutdown of newspapers, radio and other media reporting the protests.

The latest protests in Sudan began September 23 after the government said it was cutting fuel subsidies again. That caused pump prices for gasoline to almost double overnight. These, and other government cuts, are part of an austerity program aimed at cutting costs in the face of a drop in oil revenues since oil-producing South Sudan broke away as an independent nation in 2011.

The United States condemns the violence shown by both government forces and protestors in the demonstrations, and urges restraint on both sides. We call on the Sudanese government to respect the universal rights of its citizens, including the freedoms of speech, assembly and peaceful protest.

We urge the government to provide the political space necessary for a meaningful dialogue with the Sudanese people, so all parties may work to address the many political and economic challenges facing the nation together.