Sudan coup: A wake-up call for dictators

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Rights group Amnesty says the coup in Sudan is a wake up call to leaders who deny people their basic rights.

On Thursday, the military ousted 75-year-old Omar al-Bashir after months of street protests by citizens.

Protests led to toppling of al-Bashir

Military vehicles entered the large compound in Khartoum housing the defence ministry, the army headquarters and Mr Bashir’s personal residence  to topple him.

Defence minister Awad Ibn Ouf then announced the coup on state TV saying Sudan had been suffering from “poor management, corruption, and an absence of justice”.

He promised people that the army will hand over to a democratic regime after a two-year transitional period.

Reacting to the coup, Amnesty International’s Secretary General Kumi Naidoo said it should be a lesson for dictators all over the world.

Naidoo however urged Sudan’s military authorities to ensure that emergency laws are not used to undermine people’s rights. He said such laws should be consigned to history.

“But while many Sudanese people will be delighted by the end of Omar al-Bashir’s deeply repressive 30-year rule, we are alarmed by the raft of emergency measures announced today.

“The transitional authorities must take all necessary measures to facilitate a peaceful transfer of power in Sudan. That means respecting the rights to freedom of expression and assembly, and ultimately ending an era of bloodshed and oppression in the country,” he said.

Amnesty has also called for the arrest of al-Bashir for human rights violations during his rule.

Said Naidoo: “We need to finally see him held accountable. The Sudanese authorities should now turn al-Bashir and three others over to the International Criminal Court so that the victims of these unspeakable crimes can see that justice is done.

“The new authorities must also ensure that domestic accountability for crimes under international law committed over the last three decades is a priority in any transition. All those suspected of these heinous crimes must be brought to justice in fair trials, not subject to the death penalty.”

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