UN expert urges Sudan forces stop shooting anti-coup protesters
A UN expert on Thursday urged Sudanese forces to stop firing live ammunition and tear gas at anti-coup protesters in a crackdown that has killed more than 80 people.
Demonstrations have continued in the northeast African country since army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan led a military takeover on October 25, sparking international condemnation and suspension of aid.
The putsch derailed a fragile power-sharing agreement between the army and civilians negotiated after the 2019 ouster of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir.
"Firing live ammunition on the people is a huge violation against human rights," said the United Nations expert, Adama Dieng.
"I'm concerned about the violations (committed by) the authorities and the use of live ammunition against protesters," he said, putting the toll at 82 dead and 2,000 wounded.
Both the UN and the United States have made similar appeals before, with Washington threatening further "consequences" if violence continues. A Sudanese man shot dead on Sunday was the latest fatality.
The Senegalese envoy has been in Sudan for the past four days, meeting with leaders, diplomats and civil society members in a bid to shed light on the crackdown.
"I am calling for fair, independent and professional investigation on the violence against protesters," he told journalists in Khartoum.
Dieng also expressed concern about sexual violence and ongoing raids against anti-coup groups as well as the fate of around 100 detainees who "have never met their lawyers".
As he spoke, an AFP correspondent reported that security forces fired more tear gas at demonstrators protesting the coup.
Sudanese authorities have said they arrested several police and soldiers who fired at demonstrators with Kalashnikov rifles, disobeying orders.
Human Rights Watch has quoted witnesses detailing how both "live ammunition" and tear gas canisters were shot "directly" at crowds, a tactic that can be deadly at close quarters.