Sudan: UN expert condemns excessive use of force at protests
GENEVA (17 May 2019) – A UN human rights expert* has condemned reports of excessive use of force this week against
protesters seeking a civilian-led transition in Sudan. Reports said at least six people were killed and about 100
On 13 May, reports indicated unidentified forces allegedly wearing the uniforms of the Rapid Support Forces used live
ammunition at protests in Khartoum, killing six people including an army officer. Two days later, reports said Rapid
Support Forces fired live ammunition at protesters trying to prevent the removal of roadblocks to clear the way to the
While the Transitional Military Council and the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces opposition alliance announced
progress towards an arrangement for the transitional period on 14 May, their talks were suspended following the violence
on 15 May.
The UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Sudan, Aristide Nononsi, called on the Transitional
Military Council to uphold its responsibility to provide protection for peaceful protesters all over Sudan, allowing
them to express their views and concerns on the future of their country through peaceful means. He also urged the
Declaration of Freedom and Change forces to also take appropriate measures to ensure peaceful protests and prevent
provocative actions during protests.
Nononsi welcomed the Transitional Military Council’s announcement on 13 May on the establishment of an investigative
committee into the recent violence. “The authorities must conduct thorough, independent and impartial investigations
into the reported killings and use of force against protesters that occurred since the start of the protests on 19
December 2018, to ensure perpetrators are brought to justice,” he said. “I strongly urge the Sudanese military and
security forces to exercise the utmost restraint to avoid further escalation of violence and to take immediate measures
to protect the constitutional rights of the Sudanese people."
The UN expert called on the two sides to resume talks and speed up the process on the transitional period arrangements
to ensure a smooth transfer of power to a civilian-led transitional authority within the 60-day deadline as per the AU
Peace and Security Council communiqué issued on 30 April 2019.
The UN expert expressed his readiness to cooperate with all parties to help establish a State where the legitimate
demands of the Sudanese people are taken into account, human rights respected and the rule of law upheld.