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Demand for special UN rights council meet after Sudan coup

Published: Updated:

Dozens of countries called Monday for the UN Human Rights Council to host a special session on Sudan, following a deadly crackdown on mass rallies against last week’s military coup.

In a letter to the council president sent on behalf of 48 countries, British ambassador Simon Manley stressed the urgent need for the top UN rights body to discuss the situation in Sudan since the army’s October 25 power grab.

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“We request that the Human Rights Council hold a special session this week to address the human rights implications of the ongoing situation in the Republic of the Sudan,” said the letter, seen by AFP.

“A special session is needed because of the importance and urgency of the situation.”

The request came after top General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan dissolved the government, declared a state of emergency and detained Sudan’s civilian leadership.

Tens of thousands of people turned out across the country for demonstrations on Saturday against the coup.

At least three people were shot dead and more than 100 wounded during Saturday’s demonstrations, according to medics, who said at least 12 people had been killed since the coup.

Police forces denied the killings or using live rounds.

In his letter Monday, Manley said the call for a special session was being led by Britain, the United States and Norway, along with Germany and the government of Sudan, ousted in the coup.

In all, 48 countries had signed on to the request, including 18 of the Human Rights Council’s 47 member states.

Calling a special session outside of the thrice-yearly regular meetings requires the backing of at least a third of the membership, so at least 16 states.

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