US urges Sudan army to bring civilians into government

WASHINGTON The United States urged

Sudan's army to bring civilians into government after ousting veteran leader Omar al-Bashir, saying an announced two-year timeline was too long.

Washington calls on transitional authorities to exercise restraint and to

allow space for civilian participation within the government, State

Department spokesman Robert Palladino told reporters.

His comments came after Sudan's army announced the toppling of the

regime, to be replaced by a transitional military council, but there was

growing international pressure for a handover to civilian rule.

The Sudanese people should determine who leads them and their future and the Sudanese people have been clear and are demanding a civilian-led

transition, Palladino said.

The United States position is the Sudanese people should be allowed to do

so sooner than two years from now, he said.

The United States had been trying to mend relations with Sudan after years

of tension with Bashir, who seized power in a 1989 coup and hosted Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who stayed until 1996.

Palladino said that the United States was suspending the so-called Phase

II talks, in which Washington was considering removing Khartoum from the US blacklist of state sponsors of terrorism, but he added: We remain open to engagement.

Bashir remains wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes in the western Darfur region that Washington has described as genocide.

Palladino said that the United States supported accountability on Darfur

but declined to specify whether Bashir � or the coup leader, Defense

Minister Awad Ibnouf � should face extradition.

We believe that the victims of Darfur deserve justice and that

accountability is essential for achieving a stable and lasting peace in

Darfur, he said.

The United States continues to call for those responsible for the horrific

crimes that were committed in Darfur to be held accountable for those

actions, he said.

Also Thursday the State Department raised to the highest level its travel

advisory for Sudan.

Do not travel, it warned, after ordering the departure of non-emergency

US government employees from the country.

There is a national state of emergency in effect across Sudan, which gives

security forces greater arrest and incarceration powers, the advisory said.


Leave a Reply