Secretary of State Antony Blinken has warned that the US is “prepared to respond” to Sudan’s deadly crackdown on pro-democracy activists.
According to Blinken, celebrating the 66th year of independence on Saturday, Blinken said the Sudanese military’s recent power grab had risked Washington’s ambitions to strengthen ties with the North African country.
He added, “We had planned to collaborate with a democratising Sudan in 2021.” Still, the military seizure of power in October and violence against nonviolent protestors have placed doubt on that future.”
The secretary of state urged authorities to back demonstrators’ demands and recommit to a democratic future for Sudan.
“We do not like to go back to the past,” Blinken added. “We are prepared to respond to those who seek to stymie the Sudanese people’s desire for a civilian-led, democratic government and who seek to obstruct accountability, justice, and peace.”
After decades of severing connections during previous President Omar al-almost Bashir’s 30-year dictatorship, relations between the US and Sudan improved.
Following Bashir’s ouster in 2019, a newly formed transitional administration pledged to democracy.
Sudan was removed from the State Sponsors of Terrorism (SST) list, and a series of devastating sanctions were lifted the following year.
On October 25, Sudan’s army chief, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, seized control, deposing the military-civilian transitional government and detaining Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok. As part of a compromise between the military and civilian authorities, Burhan freed Hamdok from house arrest on November 21, restoring him.
However, the move did not put an end to the widespread anti-military rallies that had erupted across the country, with demonstrators continuing to condemn both the takeover and Hamdok’s new deal.
Since the coup, the US has urged its friend with close links to Sudan’s military, such as Israel, Saudi Arabis, and the United Arab Emirates, to support efforts to halt the takeover and return to a civilian-led political process.