Britain, Canada, Norway, and The United States in a joint statement released late on Monday in Khartoum urged Sudan’s government and security forces to allow people to peacefully protest to express their legitimate grievances, reported News24.
The statement followed credible media reports that claimed Sudan’s security forces used live ammunition against demonstrators who have been demanding that President Omar Bashir, who rose to power in a 1989 military coup, step down.
According to a report coming from Amnesty International, a London-based rights group, the security forces have killed around 37 protesters in five days of anti-government demonstrations all across the country. The report said the use of lethal force by security forces against unarmed protesters was inhuman and extremely troubling.
“With further protest planned tomorrow, the fact that the security forces are using lethal force so indiscriminately against unarmed protesters is extremely troubling,” said Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s deputy director.
The protests, which began last week initially over rising prices and shortages of food and fuel, escalated into calls for Bashir to go. The protest has support from independent professional unions as well the country’s largest political parties, Umma and Democratic Unionist.
An opposition leader suspected around 22 protesters were killed by the security forces during the protests. The government has acknowledged fatalities during the protests but gave no official figures.
The statement released by the four nations, which was posted on the Facebook page of the US Embassy, called on the Sudanese government to “respond to demonstrations appropriately, through uniformed police acting in accordance with Sudanese and international human rights law.”
They warned the authorities against the use of live fire on protesters, arbitrary detention, and censorship of the media and to investigate alleged abuses.
On Monday, Bashir said his government is working on to introduce measures to stabilize the economy and “provide citizens with a dignified life.”