UN urges Sudanese army to refrain from using violence against protesters

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The United Nations has urged the Sudanese army to refrain from using violence against protesters as the country looks to move forward after the ouster of Omar al-Bashir from the presidency.

Al-Bashir was removed from power by the army on Thursday after weeks of mass protests, with the force announcing that a military council would lead the country for a transitional two-year period as it prepares to hold an election.

The announcement has however been rejected by some of the protesters who opted to stay in the streets to demand that the military cede power to a civilian transitional government.

“This is a very critical, volatile moment for Sudan and there is deep uncertainty and unease about the future,” High Commissioner Bachelet said in a statement, delivered in Geneva by Ravina Shamdasani, from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

The statement comes following a warning from the Sudanese army that it would have “zero tolerance” for disturbances.

Asked whether former president Bashir should stand trial on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity including genocide linked to violence in Darfur – issued by the International Criminal Court in 2009 and 2010 – Ms. Shamdasani said: “We would encourage the Government of Sudan to fully cooperate with the International Criminal Court”.

“We are also calling for full accountability, including for the use of excessive force that has taken place since December this year”.

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