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State Department on Sudan’s Treatment of Protesters
Statement by Victoria Nuland, Spokesperson
July 11, 2012

U.S. Department of State
July 10, 2012

Concern About Government of Sudan Response to Demand for Democracy

The United States remains deeply concerned with the harsh treatment peaceful protestors continue to face in Sudan. There are reports that tear gas, rubber bullets, baton beatings, arbitrary arrests, and even torture have been used against those protesting. All such charges should be immediately investigated. We call on the Government of Sudan to halt the violence and respect the universal rights and fundamental freedoms of its citizens, including freedom of expression, freedom of the press, and freedom of assembly. Sudan faces serious challenges that cannot be solved by suppressing dissenting views and forcibly disrupting peaceful demonstrations.

There are voices in Sudan that are calling for an end to the conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile through political negotiations and for immediate humanitarian assistance. They call for lifting restrictions on the press and speech. They call for reaching mutually beneficial agreements with South Sudan and an end to confrontation between the two countries. They call for bringing all relevant parties in Darfur into the peace process and highlight the role that continuing impunity plays in forestalling a just and enduring peace for the people of Sudan.

These are reasonable and highly desirable goals which would help Sudan address its current economic crisis and allow for growth and prosperity for all Sudanese, in both Sudan and South Sudan. Several of these objectives are mandated by the Africa Union Peace and Security Council communiqué of April 24, and in United Nations Security Council resolution 2046. But most of all, these goals are good for the people of Sudan. We hope that they can be realized soon without bloodshed or further conflict.