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U.S. renews calls to expedite power transfer in Sudan

A group of Darfur women outside army garrison in El Fasher hold a banner saying

April 18, 2019 (KHARTOUM) – The State Department Thursday has reiterated calls to expedite the power transfer to a civilian government and pointed that the normalisation process of bilateral relations and Sudan’s removal from the terror list will be reviewed on based on political developments.

Sudan’s transitional military council last Thursday 11 April overthrew President Omer al-Bashir who is now under arrest. However, the army general said they plan to remain in power for two years.

So, thousands of people remain mobilized outside the army headquarters to express their rejection of this decision while the Freedom and Changes forces handed them over a proposal on how they plan to operate the immediate transition.

“The United States supports a transition to a peaceful and democratic Sudan led by civilians who represent the diversity of Sudanese society,” said the State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus in a statement on Thursday.

“The will of the Sudanese people is clear: it is time to move toward a transitional government that is inclusive and respectful of human rights and the rule of law”, Oftagus further stressed.

Last Tuesday, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, called for a swift handover of power to a civilian government and announced that the EU would not recognize the transitional military council.

For its part, the African Union gave it 15 days to hand over power to a civilian government and warned that it will suspend Sudan membership in the regional organisation.

In Khartoum, the head of the military council Abdel Fattah al-Burhan Wednesday said they will hand over power to civilians “as soon as possible without further details.

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The State Department recalled that Sudan, for the time being, remains in the list of state sponsors of terrorism as the Phase II discussions with al-Bashir’s government are suspended.

“We will continue to calibrate our policies based on our assessment of events on the ground and the actions of transitional authorities,” stressed the statement.

On Tuesday 16 April, a US official told Reuters that “A different statutory path to STT (state sponsors of terrorism) rescission may be available if there is a fundamental change in the leadership and policies of the government of Sudan”.

Talks were scheduled between Khartoum and Washington by the end of this month on Sudan removal from the terror list in line with an agreement reached on 6 November 2018.

In accordance with the Phase II deal, the two countries agreed to remove Sudan if it observes six areas: severing ties with North Korea, expanding counterterrorism cooperation, resolving internal conflicts, expanding humanitarian access, protecting human rights, and addressing outstanding legal claims related to victims of terrorism.



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