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Sudan: UN human rights chief calls for political deal

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk , speaks at news conference in Khartoum, Sudan, Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022.   -  
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Sudan

The United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Volker Turk urged Wednesday (Nov. 16) Sudanese factions to reach an agreement to end worsening political and economic crises which deepened following last year's military coup.

Talks between Sudan's main civilian bloc, the Forces for Freedom and Change, and the military have been ongoing for weeks in the latest bid to break the deadlock following the 2021 military coup.

The United Nations back the political process. Its Human Rights Commissioner concluded his first official visit to Sudan.

"Any transition is delicate, and in Sudan, we are at a particularly delicate stage of this transition", he said. 

"I really call on all sides involved in the political process to go the extra mile, to work towards the prompt restoration of civilian rule in the country, and bring an end to the uncertainty that has left much of the population in peril."

Volker Turk arrived in Sudan on Sunday and held talks with senior officials including coup leader General Al-Burhan. During a press conference held in Khartoum, the UN official reaffirmed the right to peaceful assembly.

"I call on the relevant authorities clearly to instruct security forces to respond to the demonstrations in line with human rights laws and standards. People have the right to peaceful assembly, and the state has an obligation to ensure this right can be exercised without fear of being shot at."

The crackdown on anti-coup protests has killed an estimated 119 people.

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