Army will not allow Sudan to ‘fall into chaos’: Minister

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Sudan’s armed forces will not allow the country to “fall into chaos,” Defence Minister General Awad Ibnouf said Monday as thousands of anti-government protesters demonstrated outside the military’s headquarters in Khartoum for third straight day.

“Sudan’s armed forces understand the reasons for the demonstrations and is not against the demands and aspirations of the citizens, but it will not allow the country to fall into chaos,” Ibnouf said at a meeting of the top brass, according to the official SUNA news agency.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday appealed to all sides in Sudan to avoid violence.

Guterres urged the government of President Omar al-Bashir to “create a conducive environment for a solution to the current situation and to promote an inclusive dialogue.”

Sudan’s Interior Minister Bushara Juma said seven protesters died on Saturday when forces tried to disperse them, 15 were wounded and 2,496 arrested during the demonstration.

The UN chief “appeals to all actors to exercise utmost restraint and avoid violence,” said a UN statement.

Guterres called for the release of the detained protesters and for the full respect of human rights including the freedom of assembly and freedom of expression.

Sudan has been rocked by more than three months of protests that began with demonstrations against the hike in bread prices and have since morphed into opposition against Bashir.

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