The Latest: African Union suspends Sudan over deadly unrest
The Associated Press
June 06, 2019 04:50 AM
Worshippers gather at a mosque behind a roadblock set by protesters on a main street in the Sudanese capital Khartoum to stop military vehicles from driving through the area on Wednesday, June 5, 2019. The death toll in Sudan amid a violent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters and the dispersal of their peaceful sit-in earlier this week in the capital climbed on Wednesday, protest organizers said. (AP Photo)
The Latest on developments in Sudan (all times local):
The African Union’s Peace and Security Council says it’s suspended Sudan’s participation in all AU activities “with immediate effect” over the deadly unrest in the country.
The body posted on Twitter that the suspension will remain until “the effective establishment” of a civilian-led transitional authority, “as the only way to allow the Sudan to exit from the current crisis.”
Unlimited Digital Access: Only $0.99 For Your First Month
Get full access to The Bellingham Herald content across all your devices.
Thursday’s announcement came as the committee met on the Sudan crisis, a day after new clashes brought the death toll in three days of the ruling military’s crackdown to 108.
The chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Fake Mahamat, earlier this week strongly condemned the violence in Sudan and urged the country’s ruling military council “to protect the civilians from further harm.”
A top Russian diplomat says Moscow opposes “any foreign intervention” in Sudan, where more than a hundred protesters have died in a military crackdown this week.
Mikhail Bogdanov, chief of the foreign ministry’s Middle East desk, told Russian news agencies on Thursday that a compromise is needed to settle the crisis in the African nation.
He says that Russian diplomats are in touch with all political players in Sudan, including the opposition. Bogdanov visited the Sudanese capital of Khartoum earlier this year.
Russia has largely stayed on the sidelines as Sudanese protesters rallied for months until the military ousted longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir and took over control.
The protesters, however, remained on the streets, demanding the military hand over power to a civilian authority.
Sudan’s pro-democracy leaders are vowing to press their campaign of civil disobedience until the ruling military council is ousted and killers of protesters are brought to justice.
The pledge comes after new clashes brought the death toll in three days of the military’s crackdown to 108. In one of the most shocking moments, troops pulled 40 bodies of the victims from the Nile in Khartoum on Wednesday.
The Sudanese Professionals Association, which was behind months of rallies that drove longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir from power, asked people to block main roads and bridges on Thursday to “paralyze public life” across the country in retaliation for the military’s crackdown.
The crackdown began with a violent dispersal of the protest movement’s main sit-in camp, outside the military headquarters in Khartoum on Monday.