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Human Rights Council Switzerland calls for ‘peaceful transition’ in Sudan

Sudanese protesters gather

Tens of thousands of protesters have again taken to the streets in Sudan's capital and elsewhere in the country calling for civilian rule nearly three months after the army forced out long-ruling autocrat Omar al-Bashir

(Keystone / Hussein Malla)

Switzerland on Wednesday urged Sudan’s military rulers to “take all necessary measures” to ensure a peaceful transition in the African state in the wake of a deadly crackdown against protestors. 

“Switzerland condemns the violent attacks in Sudan, which have left many peaceful demonstrators dead and wounded. Switzerland calls on the parties concerned to take all necessary measures to ensure a peaceful transition and avoid impunity,” the Swiss ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Valentin Zellweger, told the United Nations Human Rights Council. 

On Sunday, tens of thousands of people marched through the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, promising to complete the revolution they launched in December. There were reports of nearly a dozen people killed in clashes as security forces prevented the demonstrators from reaching military headquarters and the presidential palace. 

This came one month after security forces violently dispersed their main sit-in outside the military headquarters, killing at least 128 people. The bloodshed of June 3 triggered the suspension of talks on forming a transitional government just as the two sides seemed on the verge of an agreement. 

On Tuesday, Ethiopia's mediator in the Sudan crisis urged the Sudanese ruling military council and the opposition coalition to hold direct talks to strike a deal on handing over power to civilians. 

The Transitional Military Council, which has ruled Sudan since President Omar al-Bashir was ousted in April, and the Forces of Freedom and Change opposition coalition have agreed on proposals presented by the Ethiopian and African Union mediators to solve the crisis, according to the Ethiopian mediator. 

But both sides still disagree over the structure of a sovereign council which should lead the country during the transitional period, the Ethiopian mediator, Mahmud Dirir, told reporters in Khartoum on Tuesday. He urged the two sides to engage in face-to-face talks to secure a deal. 

Keystone-SDA/AP/sb

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