By Spy Uganda Correspondent
US Senator Jim Risch, the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released a statement after reports of Sudanese protesters being shot by security forces and dozens reportedly dying.
He slammed Sudanese military leaders, urging the White House to hold them “accountable for their atrocities.”
Thousands of Sudanese took to the streets to demonstrate against the military junta, led by Sudan’s Army General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.
“On October 25, the military junta violated a political agreement and seized power from a civilian-led transitional government, upending Sudan’s historic, yet fragile transition to democracy,” Risch’s statement read.
“The Congress has spoken clearly to the military junta, the Sudanese people and the US administration that the only acceptable remedy to this tragic counter-revolutionary action is to restore the transitional government under the leadership of Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok,” Risch stressed.
He condemned the violence and killing of dozens of peaceful protesters by Sudanese security forces, noting that it is just one in a series of tragic incidents at the hands of Sudanese military leaders.
These developments “further prove they cannot, and should not, be trusted with the responsibility of protecting and governing the people of Sudan.”
He concluded by clearly hinting at the need to impose sanctions on these leaders.
“From the genocide in Darfur to the coup on October 25, and now today’s killings, it is past time for the United States to hold Sudan’s military leaders accountable for their atrocities.”
Earlier this month, the Republican and Democratic leaderships in Congress put forward a draft resolution condemning Sudan’s coup and calling for sanctions against army leaders.
The bill was presented by Democratic Senator Bob Menendez and Risch, in cooperation with Representatives Gregory Meeks and Mike McCaul, and expresses US support for the Sudanese people and their democratic aspirations.
It also recognizes Hamdok and members of his cabinet as the constitutional leaders of the Sudanese transitional government and calls on the military council to release all civilian officials and other people arrested during or after the “coup.”
The draft also requires the international community to impose sanctions on the army and coup partners and suspend Sudan’s membership in all international organizations until the transitional government returns under civilian leadership.
Lawmakers have repeatedly criticized the administration’s position on the events in Sudan and are pushing to expedite the discussion of the bill.
“The draft is a top priority for the committee, and it will be presented as soon as its members finish considering some of the already submitted files,” a Senate Foreign Relations Committee source told Asharq Al-Awsat.
Congress members hope the bill sends a critical message to the administration that there is a rare partisan consensus to punish those responsible for breaching the constitutional document and obstructing the transitional process.