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US sanctions Sudan police for rights abuses

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The United States on Monday imposed sanctions on Sudan’s Central Reserve Police (CRP) force for human rights abuses.

The Treasury Department accused the CRP of being “at the forefront” of the crackdown on protests against military rule in the northeast African nation.

“Since the October 25 military takeover, Sudan’s Central Reserve Police has used excessive force and violence intended to silence civilian activists and protesters,” Treasury undersecretary Brian Nelson said in a statement.

“We condemn Sudan’s security services for killing, harassing, and intimidating Sudanese citizens,” Nelson said. “These actions are exacerbating the crisis in Sudan.”

Under the sanctions, any CRP assets in the United States will be frozen.

According to Charlie Loudon, an international legal adviser at the rights group REDRESS “Today’s sanctions send an important message that those responsible for the killing and injuring of peaceful protesters in Sudan will be held to account.”

Regular protests calling for the civilian rule have taken place since a military coup led by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan on October 25, with heavy-handed crackdowns leaving 87 dead, according to medics.

The October coup derailed a fragile power-sharing agreement between the army and civilians that had been painstakingly negotiated after the 2019 ouster of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir.