Donald Booth named special envoy for Sudan's political crisis

Yasir Arman

Khartoum streets deserted as defiant protesters continue general strike

Nagy arrived in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Wednesday flanked with Donald Booth who was officially appointed as U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan.

"I went to the bank with a cheque and they said there's no money".

The protesters were demanding the military speedily hand over power to civilian rule but the generals refused.

It follows a massacre by the military of protesters at a sit-in on 3 June in Khartoum, killing over 100 civilians with their bodies dumped in the River Nile.

Sudan has been led by a military council since the generals ousted Bashir on April 11 after months of nationwide protests against his three-decade rule. The country's health ministry said the number was lower.

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In a statement released late on Wednesday, the opposition coalition said they discussed with the two USA officials the power handover process and the "massacre" of the pro-democracy sit-in outside the army headquarters of 3 June.

On June 5, Washington likewise criticized the violence, calling on Sudan's military leaders to "desist from violence" and agree to "a civilian-led transition that leads to timely elections and free expression of the will of the Sudanese people".

Meanwhile, United Nations experts Wednesday called the situation in the country a "human rights abyss", uring the Human Rights Council to establish an independent investigation into human rights violations being committed against protesters.

In a field report on the last three days, the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), the driving force behind the #SudanUprising, present an evaluation of the civil disobedience and general strike in the professional, vocational, service and local sectors carried out by the Sudanese masses from Sunday to Tuesday. The generals have not yet commented on the latest development.

Global diplomatic efforts, however, received further boost after the UN Security Council on Tuesday urged all sides "to continue working together towards a consensual solution to the current crisis" and voiced support for African-led diplomatic efforts.

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"Today, the U.S. Congress and Executive Branch-along with the African Union and European Union-have a second chance to create serious consequences for serious crimes and to invest in high-level diplomacy to bring civilian rule to Sudan".

The slow return to normalcy came after an Ethiopian mediator announced that the protest leaders and the ruling military council had agreed to resume talks following a deadly crackdown on a weeks-long sit-in.

With all this in mind the Trump administration has dispatched Nagy to call for a cessation of violence and a resumption of peace talks.

Hollywood star George Clooney, known for advocacy for relief for Darfur and Sudan, on Tuesday called for the United States to lead the worldwide community in tracking the financial assets he alleged had been plundered for years from Sudan's government and economy by Bashir's generals.

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