UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council called on Sudan’s military leaders Thursday to restore the civilian-led transitional government and immediately release all those detained after the military takeover.
The U.N.’s most powerful body also expressed “solidarity” with the Sudanese people and affirmed its readiness “to support efforts to realize Sudan’s democratic transition” and the peoples’ aspirations “for an inclusive, peaceful, stable, democratic and prosperous future.”
The press statement approved by all 15 council members went through several revisions, diplomats said, mainly to address objections from Russia, which did not want to “condemn” the military takeover as originally proposed in the British-drafted text.
The final version instead expresses the Security Council’s “serious concern” about the military’s Oct. 25 takeover, the suspension of some transitional institutions, the declaration of a state of emergency, and the detention of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, as well as other civilian members of the transitional government.” It noted Hamdok’s reported return to his residence.
Protests denouncing Monday’s takeover have continued in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, and elsewhere, and many businesses shut in response to calls for strikes. The coup led by Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan threatens to halt Sudan’s transition to democracy, which began after the ouster of long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir in a popular uprising.
Council members “underscored that any attempt to undermine the democratic transition process in Sudan puts at risk Sudan’s security, stability and development.”
They called on all parties “to exercise the utmost restraint, refrain from the use of violence, and emphasized the importance of full respect for human rights, including the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.”
The Security Council urged all parties “to engage in dialogue without preconditions, in order to enable the full implementation of the Constitutional Document and the Juba Peace Agreement, which underpin Sudan’s democratic transition,” and it expressed strong support for regional efforts to end the crisis.