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Biden, U.N. Security Council call for return of civilian gov't after coup in Sudan

Biden, U.N. Security Council call for return of civilian gov't after coup in Sudan
Protesters demonstrate on Tuesday in Khartoum, Sudan, after the military launched a coup attempt and arrested Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. Photo by Mohammed Abu Obaid/EPA-EFE

Oct. 28 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden and the United Nations Security Council called Thursday for the return of the civilian government in Sudan and for the military to restrain from violence as the death toll following this coup continues to rise.

The statements from Biden and U.N. Security Council add to the growing international condemnation of Sudan's military coup and its dissolution of the country's ruling civilian-led transitional government on Monday.

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Growing pro-democracy protests have erupted throughout the nation with plans for a march of a million people on Saturday.

However, medical sources have said the protesters have been confronted with live ammunition shot by security forces, resulting in at least seven dead and more than 170 injured, though the death toll is expected to be much higher.

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"Some areas are witnessing unfortunate and bloody incidents, and due to the cut off of the means of communication, it is impossible for doctors to know the shortage of cadres in hospitals and the number of injuries that are still arriving, and the rise of martyrs is increasing," the pro-democracy Sudanese Doctors Association said in a statement.

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The association said in separate updates on Thursday that at least three people were confirmed dead though it is unclear if they had yet been included in the official count.

Biden in his statement said the growing number of world leaders and international organizations voicing opposition speak together in saying: "the Sudanese people must be allowed to protest peacefully and the civilian-led transitional government must be restored."

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"I have admired the courage of the Sudanese people in demanding their voices be heard and helping their country make strides toward a new, democratic Sudan," he said. "The events of recent days are a grave setback, but the United States will continue to stand with the people of Sudan and their non-violent struggle to advance the goals of Sudan's revolution."

Biden's message followed the U.N. Security Council expressing "serious concern" about the takeover on Monday and the detention of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

"The members of the Security Council called for the immediate release of all those who have been detained by the military authorities, and in this regard, took note of the reported return of Prime Minister Hamdok to his residence," the council said.

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"They also called upon all parties to exercise the utmost restraint, refrain from the use of violence and emphasized the importance of full respect for human rights, including the rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression."

"The members of the Security Council expressed their solidarity with the people of Sudan and affirmed their readiness to support efforts to realize Sudan's democratic transition in a manner that achieves the hopes and aspirations of the Sudanese people for an inclusive, peaceful, stable, democratic and prosperous future," the council added.

"The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and national unity of Sudan."

The Sudanese Professionals Association, the leading pro-democracy group behind the protests and which is made up of various unions, is planning a mass march on Saturday.

"On the 30th of October, we move toward the establishment of a new constitutional status that establishes a full civilian transitional authority that will put our country on the right path of construction," the Professional Pharmacists Association said in a statement published by the Sudanese professionals group.

Sudan has functioned under a civilian-led but military-shared transitional government since the ousting of longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir in April 2019.

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