BRUSSELS: At least 7 demonstrators were killed, while many others were injured during protests in Khartoum on 17 January. This brings the total number of deaths during protests to more than 70 since 25 October 2021. Over the past months, the European Union and the international community have repeatedly called on the military authorities to refrain from violence against peaceful demonstrators. Once again, these calls have fallen on deaf ears.
Military authorities have been limiting the freedom of expression and the freedom of association since the coup d’état last year. On Sunday, Al-Jazeera Mubashir’s license was withdrawn in Sudan. Freedom of expression and information are fundamental rights that must be guaranteed. Democracy, which the military authorities claim to build, cannot exist without freedom of the media.
Through disproportionate use of force and continued detention of activists and journalists, the military authorities are demonstrating that they are not ready to find a negotiated and peaceful solution to the crisis. Violence against civilians and the continued detention of activists and journalists, puts Sudan on a dangerous path away from peace and stability and jeopardizes the opportunity for a peaceful solution which the UNITAMS’ led consultations could bring.
The European Union has supported the democratic aspirations of the Sudanese people from the start and will do so in the future with all means at its disposal. We call upon the military authorities to make their outmost efforts to de-escalate tensions. Avoiding further loss of life is of the essence.
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