SUDAN: John Cardinal Onaiyekan Calls for Restraint in Handling Protesters

KHARTOUM, JUNE 14 2019 (CISA)-Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria has condemned the brutal Sudanese military responses to the protests in by the country.

“We firmly reject and condemn the response of the transitional government to the peaceful protestors…we reiterate the urgent need to uphold the rule of law and respect the freedom of expression and ensure the protection of all persons regardless of political affiliation,” he said in a June 7 African Council of Religious Leaders statement.

Since June 3, Sudan has experienced tension after security forces violently dispersed hundreds of peaceful protestors in Khartoum. The protestors had camped outside the army headquarters for one week, demanding the departure of the ruling party.

The crackdown left over 100 people dead.

Since December 2018, the Sudan Professionals Association has organized street protests across the country to demand change and democracy in the country. President Omar Al-Bashir had ruled for 30 years until his oust in April 2019.

“We call upon the religious leaders in the Republic of Sudan to stand in solidarity with their faith communities and members in the violence and stand for safe spaces for democracy,” said Cardinal Onaiyekan.

He also appealed for dialogue and the rule of Law to reign in the governance of the country to ensure there is peace and justice for all.

“We hold in prayer the souls of the departed as a result of this unfortunate violence, may they rest in peace, and we remember the many that are injured,” he said.