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UN expert urges Sudan forces to stop firing live ammunition, teargas at anti-coup protesters

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Demonstrators burn tires and hold images of protesters killed in earlier protests, during a march calling for civilian rule and denouncing the military administration in the city of Khartoum North near the capital on February 21, 2022. (Photo by AFP)

A United Nations expert has called on Sudan's military to stop using "excessive force" against anti-coup protesters as the crackdown has so far claimed dozens of lives across the African country.

UN human rights envoy Adama Dieng said on Thursday that the Sudanese military should stop firing live ammunition and tear gas at the protesters against the October 2021 military coup, denouncing the violence by Sudanese forces as a “huge violation against human rights.”

"Firing live ammunition on the people is a huge violation against human rights," Dieng said during a press conference in the capital Khartoum.

"I'm concerned about the violations committed by the authorities and the use of live ammunition against protesters," he added, putting the death toll at 82 and the number of the wounded at 2,000 since the military takeover started on October 25.

The UN human rights envoy, who has been in Sudan for the past four days to hold meetings with leaders, diplomats and civil society members in a bid to shed light on the crackdown, told the presser that he is calling for “fair, independent and professional investigation on the violence against protesters.”

Dieng also expressed concern about ongoing raids against anti-coup groups as well as the fate of around 100 detainees who "have never met their lawyers.”

Sudanese authorities claim to have arrested several police and soldiers who fired at demonstrators with Kalashnikov rifles, disobeying orders.

Sudanese protesters have been on the streets for months since General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan led a military coup in October last year that ended a civilian-military partnership that was meant to lead to democratic elections, a move that was widely condemned by the international community.

The UN and certain Western governments have pressured the Sudanese military to end the crackdown and restore a civilian-led government to complete the country’s transition.

The African country, home to 45 million people, is also dealing with a severe economic crisis and an inflation reaching 400 percent.

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