Sudan health ministry: Death toll from violence rises to 61

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The official death toll in Sudan from violence that erupted on Monday has risen to 61, the director-general of the Health Ministry said on Thursday, up from a previous toll of 46.

Suleiman Abdel Jabbar told Reuters that of the 61 documented cases, 52 were from the capital Khartoum and they included 49 civilians killed by gunfire and three security personnel who died from stab wounds. The rest were from other provinces.

The report came after opposition-linked medics said more than 100 people had lost their lives in the violence.

Regional and International reactions to Sudan crisis

In a related development, Washington on Wednesday called on Sudan’s military rulers to “desist from violence” and urged talks with protesters to resume, after doctors said 108 people had been killed in a crackdown, according to AFP.

“The United States condemns the recent attacks on protesters in Sudan,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.

It called on the ruling military council and Rapid Support Forces paramilitaries to desist from violence and “a civilian-led transition that leads to timely elections and free expression of the will of the Sudanese people,” Ortagus said.

“Senior Department officials are engaging now with officials in the region and we welcome the recent statements from the AU, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia calling for restraint from violence and resumption of dialogue,” she added.

Riyadh had earlier sought a resumption of “dialogue between the various parties of Sudan.”

The Central Committee for Sudanese Doctors close to the protest movement said on Wednesday that at least 108 people had been killed in the crackdown, including 40 people whose bodies were recovered from the Nile river. More than 500 people were wounded.

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Army ruler General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan on Wednesday said the council would “negotiate with no restriction,” but protest leaders rejected the offer.

After the killing “justice and accountability” are needed before talks about a political process, said Amjad Farid, a spokesman for the Sudanese Professionals Association which spearheaded protests that led to the ouster in April of longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir.

Al-Bashir was replaced by the military council.

Also the United Arab Emirates said it is watching developments in Sudan with great concern and supports the continuation of a dialogue between the different parties, the UAE foreign ministry said in a statement published by the state news agency WAM late on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Russia said it opposed foreign intervention in Sudan and the authorities in Khartoum must subdue what it described as extremists, Russia’s RIA news agency reported.

The Russian foreign ministry also said it supported the holding of elections in Sudan, Reuters reported.

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