US urges Sudan military to refrain from force against protests

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The United States demanded that Sudan’s military refrain from violence against mass protests planned Saturday, saying it would be a key test of intentions after the civilian government was ousted.

A senior US official also estimated Friday that 20 to 30 people have been killed since the military takeover, higher than the toll of eight given by Sudanese health officials.

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The official called Saturday a “real test” and said Washington was “really concerned” about the response to demonstrations that have been called to oppose the military’s removal of the civilian-led transitional government.

“The Sudanese people are preparing to take the streets tomorrow in protest of the military overthrow and we call on the security forces to refrain from any and all violence against protesters and to fully respect the citizens’ right to demonstrate peacefully,” the official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

“I think this is going to be a real indication of what the military’s intentions are and what, unfortunately, the casualty account could be,” he said.

The official warned that the military could try to prevent demonstrations entirely or close roads and bridges.

The official also estimated that around 30 political figures remained detained since the takeover.

Read more: Pentagon condemns Sudan’s military, top US diplomat asks how Washington can help

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