WASHINGTONRepresentative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today delivered the following statement on security forces’ use of violence against peaceful protesters in Sudan:

"Since December, the people of Sudan have demonstrated extraordinary courage and conviction by organizing peaceful protests, most recently outside of the headquarters of the Sudanese army. Last month, their united voices led to the overthrow of the repressive regime of Omar al-Bashir and the potential for a civilian-led transitional government should the military choose to relinquish power.

"Just yesterday, transitional military council and representatives of the protest movement announced that they had reached a consensus over the structure and authorities of the transitional government. However, later that day elements of the security forces, including some who may have been wearing the uniforms of the Rapid Support Forces, opened fire on the protesters, leading to the death of six people. In addition to yesterday’s tragic events, I am concerned by reports that Sudanese security forces have forcibly disrupted  protests on major roads. This violence, if left unchecked, could lead to an already tense situation in Sudan spiraling further out of control.

"I call on the Sudanese security forces to immediately cease inciting violence against the protesters. I also call for Sudanese authorities to immediately investigate all instances of violence against protesters since December 2018 and ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable. Finally, the Sudanese military should immediately transfer power to a civilian-led authority without further delay."