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Protester killed in Sudan demonstrations as UN human rights expert visits

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A protester was shot dead in the Sudanese capital Friday, medics said, as UN human rights expert Adama Dieng urged authorities to "refrain from use of excessive force" against demonstrators.

Thousands took to the streets in Khartoum and other cities to demand justice for scores of pro-democracy protesters killed during the suppression of a 2019 sit-in against now ousted dictator Omar al-Bashir, AFP correspondents reported.

"Blood for blood, we will not accept compensation," protesters in Khartoum chanted. Others urged the military "to go back to their barracks". Friday's protests marked the third anniversary of the dispersal of the months-long sit-in outside army headquarters, that was swiftly followed by a palace coup by military top brass which put an end to Bashir's three decades in power.

At least 128 demonstrators were killed, according to medics linked to the protest movement. An investigation was launched later that year but it has yet to announce its findings. Britain, Norway and the United States issued a joint statement Friday "calling for the prompt resolution of the government-appointed investigation into the massacre and disclosure of findings to the public."

Further demonstrations after Bashir's ouster led to the formation of a transitional government but it was toppled last October by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. There have been repeated protests against the coup which have triggered a bloody crackdown in which nearly 100 people have died, according to pro-democracy medics.

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Friday's demonstrations took place as the UN expert on human rights in Sudan visited for the second time since the coup. The UN, along with the African Union and regional grouping IGAD, have been pushing to facilitate Sudanese-led talks to resolve the crisis.

On Wednesday, military official met with UN, AU and IGAD representatives and agreed on "the launch of direct talks" among Sudanese factions next week. On Sunday, Burhan lifted a state of emergency in force since the coup to set the stage for "meaningful dialogue that achieves stability for the transitional period". Since April, Sudanese authorities have released a number of civilian leaders and pro-democracy activists arrested in the crackdown.

(AFP)

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