WASHINGTON — Washington on Wednesday called on Sudan's military rulers to "desist from violence" and urged talks with protesters to resume, after doctors said 108 people had been killed in a crackdown.
"The United States condemns the recent attacks on protesters in Sudan," State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.
It called on the ruling military council and Rapid Support Forces paramilitaries to desist from violence and "a civilian-led transition that leads to timely elections and free expression of the will of the Sudanese people," Ortagus said.
"Senior Department officials are engaging now with officials in the region and we welcome the recent statements from the AU, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia calling for restraint from violence and resumption of dialogue," she added.
Riyadh, a major backer of the military rulers, had earlier sought a resumption of "dialogue between the various parties of Sudan."
The Central Committee for Sudanese Doctors close to the protest movement said on Wednesday that at least 108 people had been killed in the crackdown, including 40 people whose bodies were recovered from the Nile river. More than 500 people were wounded.
Army ruler General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan on Wednesday said the council would "negotiate with no restriction," but protest leaders rejected the offer.
After the killing "justice and accountability" are needed before talks about a political process, said Amjad Farid, a spokesman for the Sudanese Professionals Association which spearheaded protests that led to the ouster in April of longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir.
Bashir was replaced by the military council. — AFP