LONDON: The US special envoy for the Horn of Africa on Tuesday urged Sudan’s military to re-establish civilian rule, warning that “the world is watching.”

At a press briefing attended by Arab News, Jeffrey Feltman said: “The events of Oct. 25 in Sudan and the days since are a grave setback. The United States will continue to stand with the people of Sudan in their non-violent struggle to advance the goals of Sudan’s revolution.”

On Oct. 25, military leaders dissolved Sudan’s transitional government and detained its civilian leaders, who had been steering the country toward democratic rule.

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who had been calling for full civilian rule to replace the civil-military power-sharing that had been in place since the 2019 revolution, was confined to house arrest.

“We remain extremely concerned about Sudan’s democratic trajectory after the military takeover,” Feltman said, adding that the military has “hijacked and betrayed the aspirations of the Sudanese people for a peaceful, democratic country, as evidenced by the 2019 peaceful revolution and enshrined in that year’s constitutional declaration.”

The 2019 revolution saw the overthrow of dictator Omar Bashir after three decades in power. A large-scale civilian-led movement engaged in peaceful protest and civil disobedience for months until the military enacted a coup against him.

The transitional government was then formed, comprising both civilian and military leaders and aimed at delivering long-term stability and democracy.

Feltman said the international community is largely in agreement in its support for the civilian government.

“The international community, from the African Union, to the Arab League, to the UN Security Council and to international financial institutions, have signaled loudly their deep concern about the military’s unconscionable actions,” he added. “We join them in calling for the immediate restoration of democratic governance in Sudan.”

Since the October coup, protests have seen many Sudanese people killed and injured at the hands of security forces.

“We urge the military to release all civilians detained in connection with the unacceptable events of Oct. 25, and to ensure that any who had been injured receive necessary medical care without interference,” Feltman said.

The US has previously suspended huge amounts of funding it had been providing to the new Sudanese government, but Feltman said humanitarian aid is exempt from this.

“I’ve admired the courage of the Sudanese people in demanding that their voices are heard, and in helping their country make strides toward a new democratic Sudan,” he added.

“To those freedom-loving Sudanese, and to those that would seek to rob them of their democratic ambition, I say: The world is watching.”

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