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U.S. lawmakers urge to press for power transfer to civilians in Sudan

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Lt-Gen Yasir al-Atta spokesperson of the military council brief the media on 14 May 2019 (SUNA photo)
May 17, 2019 (WASHINGTON) - US lawmakers urged the Treasury and the State Departments to work to ensure a rapid transfer of power to a civilian-led transitional government in Sudan.

In a letter addressed to Mike Pompeo Secretary of State and Steven Mnuchin Secretary of the Treasury on Thursday, 77 Senators and Congressmen expressed their "deep concern" about the current situation in Sudan pointing out to the potential risks that represent the military council and foreign interference.

The lawmakers said that the military council does not meet the aspiration of Sudanese for a civilian-led democratic change.

"A government dominated by the military is not the goal of the Sudanese people and the longer the protestors’ demands remain unfulfilled, there is increased probability of conflict like the violence against protestors, deaths and injuries that occurred this week," reads the letter seen by Sudan Tribune.

"We encourage you to use all mechanisms and leverage to facilitate, as quickly as possible, an inclusive civilian-led transition to democratic governance," they further stressed.

Further, they pressed the U.S. administration to use diplomatic and political channels to dissuade countries in the region that voiced support to the military council to not encourage them to keep power.

"In this regard, we are dismayed by the announcement from the Governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that they intend to provide Sudan with $3 billion in budget support and aid".

The bipartisan letter proposed a series of measures that should be taken to support the democratic transition in Sudan including increasing the capacity building of civilian leadership and civil society and to provide the transitional civilian authorities with technical and capacity-building assistance.

"The United States, in consultation with Congress, should signal its willingness to engage with and support international financial institutions in aiding Sudan once civilian-led transitional authorities are in place and functioning," reads the letter.

The State Department last April decided to maintain Sudan’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism and to stop talks on its removal from the terror list.

Tibor Nagy the U.S. State Department’s assistant secretary on Friday held a meeting with Western partners, AU, IGAD and UN to consider ways to support for a civilian-led transitional government.

(ST)

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