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EU's Josep Borrell condemns violence against anti-coup protesters in Sudan

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By AP  with Euronews
Barricades were set up and tyres burned as part of a civil disobedience campaign in Khartoum.
Barricades were set up and tyres burned as part of a civil disobedience campaign in Khartoum.   -   Copyright  STR/AP Photo

The European Union has condemned Sudan's military rulers for using violence against anti-coup demonstrators.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that repeated calls for Sudanese authorities to refrain from violent actions “have fallen on deaf ears.”

The statement came one day after Sudanese security forces opened fire on anti-coup protesters in the capital Khartoum, killing at least seven people.

More than 70 people have died and hundreds more wounded in protests since the military took control in October and removed the country’s civilian-led government.

While protestors have called for transitional power to be handed over to a fully civilian government, military generals have said they will wait for next year's scheduled elections.

Borrell said the ongoing crackdown, including the detention of activists and journalists, has put Sudan on “a dangerous path away from peace and stability.”

The EU diplomat urged Sudan's military to de-escalate tensions, saying “avoiding further loss of life is of the essence.”

The ongoing crisis is also threatening also risks derailing UN efforts to find a peaceful solution, he added. Volker Perthes, the UN envoy for Sudan, said on Twitter that Sudan needed "international support".

Support for political process needs to go along with active support to stop violence,” Perthes tweeted on Tuesday.

Sudan has remained a fragile political state after a popular uprising forced the military to remove autocratic President Omar al-Bashir and his Islamist government in April 2019.

The situation worsened earlier this month when Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok resigned after his efforts to reach a compromise failed.

Hamdok had been ousted in October but was reinstated a month later as the civilian face of the transitional government.

Monday's violence was among the worst since the coup, with seven killed and around 100 others injured, according to the Sudan Doctors Committee.

Police have said that the demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails at the security forces, despite their calls for protest leaders to coordinate the route of their protest marches.

They say that officers had used "the least amount of legal force", adding that 50 police officials were injured and 77 people were arrested.

General Abdel-Fattah Burhan -- head of the ruling sovereign council -- has ordered a fact-finding commission to investigate the killings.