The United States voiced hope Wednesday after Sudanese security forces held fire on a mounting anti-government rally, with Washington renewing calls for Khartoum to allow peaceful protests.
Tibor Nagy, the US assistant secretary of state for Africa, said he was “heartened” at the relative calm overnight Tuesday after police ordered forces not to intervene. “We call on the government of Sudan to respect the rights of all Sudanese people to express grievances peacefully,” he tweeted.
Thousands of protesters were camped out of the army headquarters Wednesday for the fifth day, in what is seen as the biggest threat yet to President Omar al-Bashir’s three decades of rule.
Officials say 49 people have died in protest-related violence since demonstrations erupted in December over a sharp hike in the price of bread. The United States, Britain and Norway in a joint statement on Tuesday said that Sudanese authorities needed to respond to the popular demands and “deliver a credible plan for this political transition.”