WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Chris Coons (D-Del.), member of the Subcommittee on African Affairs and chairman of the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, today released the following statement on the challenges facing Sudan's transition to democracy and protests planned for Thursday in Khartoum:
“Supporting Sudan's ongoing political and economic transition remains a top priority for the United States in Africa. The Sudanese peoples’ continued patience and determination to see this transition through to eventual democratic elections, broad economic and security sector reform, and accountability for crimes committed by the former Bashir regime is an inspiration to those fighting for democracy around the world.
“The United States has and continues to act decisively as an ally of the Sudanese people. In addition to committing more than $1 billion in U.S. foreign assistance, engaging in debt relief, and removing Sudan’s Bashir-era State Sponsor of Terrorism listing, the United States continues to work with international partners to help Sudan rejoin the international community and alliance of democracies.
“The right to non-violent protest and state protection of all protesters are paramount features of Sudan’s shift towards a more citizen-centered, rights-based, and peaceful democracy. As the Sudanese take to the streets on Thursday in planned demonstrations, it is vital that security forces respect and protect citizens’ right to peaceful protest, and most importantly, Sudan's leaders and stakeholders continue to work through the mechanisms of the agreed, civilian-led transition. The United States must also continue working with Sudan’s government and our international partners to reign in the malign forces seeking to undermine the country's transition.”