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Sudan Protests: European Union calls on Khartoum to ensure political freedoms

Demonstrators under Burri Bridge in Khartoum on 6 January 2019 (ST Photo)
January 11, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - In a first comment on the nationwide anti-government demonstrations that started on 19 December, the European Union Friday has urged Sudan to ensure political freedoms and achieve reforms.

The office of EU Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs issued a statement called on Khartoum to ensure the right for freedom of assembly, association and expression and to refrain from violence.

The European body for external action further recalled the need to release activists and political detainees arrested following the eruption of demonstration in the country, pointing the need to address the root causes of the crisis and to implement reforms.

"The implementation of much-needed political and economic reforms remains crucial to address grievances expressed by the population of Sudan," said the statement before to stress that the "actions of the government of Sudan in this respect will have an impact on our bilateral phased engagement".

The very consensual statement avoided the use of harsh language but sought to address a clear message to Khartoum.

Last Tuesday 8 January, the Troika countries (the United Kingdom, Norway and the United States) and Canada said "deeply concerned" by the government response to the ongoing protests and " appalled" by the use of live ammunition against protestors.

"The Government of Sudan’s actions and decisions over the coming weeks will have an impact on the engagement of our governments and others in the coming months and years," warned the Troika and Canada.

The government rejected the "veiled threat" by the Troika countries and Canada, and reaffirmed its refusal to interfere in Sudan’s domestic affairs, according to a statement issued by the foreign affairs on Wednesday