U.S. places sanctions on Sudan’s Central Reserve Police over protest crackdown

The United States on Monday imposed sanctions on Sudan’s Central Reserve Police, accusing it of using excessive force against peaceful protesters demonstrating against last October’s military coup.

The U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement the Central Reserve Police, a division of the wider police force, has been at the forefront of the “violent response” of Sudanese security forces to peaceful protests in Khartoum.

Singling out a single day in January, it accused the group of firing live ammunition and, along with anti-riot police and regular police, chasing protesters trying to flee, arresting and beating some, and fatally shooting two and injuring others.

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

“We condemn Sudan’s security services for killing, harassing, and intimidating Sudanese citizens.”

A police spokesman could not be reached for comment. Military leaders have said peaceful protests are allowed and that protest casualties will be investigated.

Sudan has been rocked for months by protests organised by neighborhood-based resistance committees. Some 88 people have died in the crackdown on protests, and thousands have been injured, many by gunfire.

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