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18.04.2019 Sudan

US 'encouraged' in Sudan, urges greater transition

Africa A Sudanese soldier joins protesters outside the army complex in Khartoum.  By OZAN KOSE (AFP)
APR 18, 2019 SUDAN
A Sudanese soldier joins protesters outside the army complex in Khartoum. By OZAN KOSE (AFP)

The United States on Thursday praised orders by Sudan's new military leader to free political prisoners and end a night curfew but urged more action to transition to democracy.

State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said that the United States will "calibrate our policies based on our assessment of events" but added that talks on delisting Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism remained suspended.

"We are encouraged by the decision to release political prisoners and cancel the curfew in Khartoum," Ortagus said in a statement.

She said that the United States wanted the military council and other armed units to "show restraint, avoid conflict and remain committed to the protection of the Sudanese people."

"The will of the Sudanese people is clear: it is time to move toward a transitional government that is inclusive and respectful of human rights and the rule of law," she said.

The military last week ousted leader Omar al-Bashir, whose three-decade tenure included welcoming Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden to Sudan and leading a crackdown in Darfur described by Washington as genocide.

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the second leader to take charge after the coup, ordered the release of prisoners jailed by special emergency courts and lifted a night-time curfew.

He promised to "uproot" the legacy of Bashir's regime, although military rulers say they will stay in charge for two years.