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African Religious Leaders Condemn Brutal Suppression of Protests in Sudan

‘We strongly condemn the violent response of the Transitional Military Council…’

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Four people died on the first day of protest in Khartoum to persuade the transitional military Council, which replaced President Omar El Bashir in April, to cede power to a civilian government.
According to opposition sources, at least 118 have died since the bloody blitz of June 3 against the protesters’ sit-in in Khartoum. The protest led to Bashir’s resignation and arrest, but the military junta that took power does not want to hand it over to civilians.
The repression of peaceful demonstrations was strongly criticized by the African Council of Religious Leaders – Religions for Peace (ACRL-RfP) in a declaration signed by His Eminence Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja (Nigeria) and Co-Chair, ACRL-RfP.
«We strongly condemn the violent response of the Transitional Military Council to the ongoing peaceful protests on the streets of Khartoum. The recent use of brutal force to disperse peaceful protestors by unarmed civilians in Khartoum, Sudan are indeed shocking and tragic,» said the statement sent to Fides News Agency denouncing «physical violence, use of live ammunition, targeting of medical centres and the detention without trial of activists and protestors in their quest for freedom of expression. We stand in solidarity with them», say the authors of the message.
«We call upon the military apparatus in Sudan to use restraint and halt the attacks on medical centers and further allow safe access and passage to all health services. They should uphold the rule of law and release all persons detained without trial.»
The message concluded by launching an appeal for dialogue between the transitional military council and the opposition alliance in Sudan in order to restore peace in Sudan and create the conditions to form a government that meets the needs of the population.

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