US imposes sanctions on Sudan police for rights abuses

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Sudan's army ruler General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan in Khartoum on April 16, 2019. PHOTO | HO | SUDAN NEWS AGENCY | AFP

The United States has imposed sanctions on Sudan’s Central Reserve Police (CRP) force for human rights abuses. 

The Treasury Department on Monday accused the CRP of being “at the forefront” of the crackdown on protests against military rule in the northeast African nation.

“Since the October 25 military takeover, Sudan’s Central Reserve Police has used excessive force and violence intended to silence civilian activists and protesters,” Treasury undersecretary Brian Nelson said in a statement.

“We condemn Sudan’s security services for killing, harassing, and intimidating Sudanese citizens,” Nelson said. “These actions are exacerbating the crisis in Sudan.”

Under the sanctions, any CRP assets in the US will be frozen.

Regular protests calling for civilian rule have taken place since a military coup led by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan on October 25, with heavy-handed crackdowns leaving 87 dead, according to medics.

The October coup derailed a fragile power-sharing agreement between the army and civilians that had been painstakingly negotiated after the 2019 ouster of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir.

The sanctions came as Sudanese security forces shot and killed a teenager during a crackdown on rallies against last year’s military coup, medics said.

89 dead

“Babiker al-Rashid, 17, was killed in Omdurman after he was hit at a close range by a live bullet to the chest by coup authorities,” said the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors in a statement.

His death brings to 89 the number of people killed in the crackdown on anti-coup protests to 89, the committee said.

Monday’s protests were staged mainly in the capital Khartoum, its neighbouring cities of Omdurman and North Khartoum.

Security forces fired tear gas to quell the protests, according to witnesses.

Sudanese teachers and doctors have recently staged strikes against security forces to protest violence and the worsening living conditions.

Power grab

Last year’s military power grab has drawn wide international condemnation and cuts of crucial aid, which deepened the economic crisis in Sudan where prices of bread, fuel, and electricity have skyrocketed.

On Monday, Burhan headed to Saudi Arabia for talks following a similar trip to the United Arab Emirates where he discussed the ailing economy.

AFP

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