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UN Rights Chief Expresses Alarm at Current Tense Situation in Sudan

The UN human rights chief on Saturday expressed alarm at the current tense situation in Sudan.

Volker Turk “renewed his plea to all sides to set aside entrenched positions and personal interests, to focus on the common interests of the Sudanese people by redoubling efforts towards restoration of a civilian-led Government,” the UN Human Rights Office said in a statement.

“As I had said during my visit to Sudan in November, the country is at a decisive juncture. Much work has been done and many positive steps taken towards the signature of a final agreement – all efforts must now be made to get the political transition back on the right path,” Turk said.

He urged all sides to work together to overcome obstacles to security sector reform and to avoid any further delays in the signing of the political agreement.

The human rights chief also called on the authorities and all sides to take measures to de-escalate tensions and refrain from violence.

He said: “I witnessed first-hand the fervent, awe-inspiring determination of the people of Sudan – particularly young people and women – to stand up for human rights, an inclusive, civilian-led Government, accountability and justice.”

“I urge the authorities to ensure that the rights of the people to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are fully respected and that security forces are clearly instructed to respond to demonstrations in line with human rights laws and standards. We must not see a repeat of the use of unnecessary, disproportionate force,” he added.

Last December in Sudan a political framework agreement was struck between civilian leaders and the military as a first step toward restoration of a civilian-led government. A final political agreement was supposed to be signed on April 1 but then was delayed until April 6.

The signing was further delayed on Thursday, however, with no new target date given.

Source : AA