Washington—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement regarding the killing of peaceful protestors in Sudan and the continued failure to establish a civilian-led transitional government:

“The Transitional Military Council must immediately end all acts of violence against demonstrators and commit to a civilian-led transition. Furthermore, I reiterate my call for Sudanese authorities to thoroughly and transparently investigate all acts of violence against peaceful protesters since December 2018 and ensure accountability for those responsible.

“Time and time again we have seen the Sudanese people express their support for a civilian-led transitional government, while the country’s military’s leaders appear to only have the backing of fellow authoritarian regimes. After this week’s developments, it has become increasingly clear that the military’s attempts to cling to power are destabilizing Sudan and also pose a threat to regional security. This is a watershed moment in the history of Sudan, and we cannot stand by as pro-democracy activists are slaughtered by the remnants of a brutal dictatorship.

“As a demonstration of the United States’ enduring support to the people of Sudan and their courageous fight for democracy, I call on the Trump Administration to immediately appoint a senior diplomat with substantial diplomatic experience in the Red Sea region as our Special Envoy to Sudan. And the United States should work with our diplomatic partners to implement targeted sanctions on any individuals in Sudan who have been complicit in human rights abuses against protesters.


On Monday, members of the Rapid Support Forces killed at least 35 Sudanese civilians who were peacefully protesting to pressure the Transitional Military Council (TMC) to cede power to a civilian-led transitional government. This attack comes on the heels of an agreement announced last month between the TMC and representatives of the protest movement regarding the?structure and authorities of a transitional government in Sudan. In the aftermath of this most recent bloodshed, the TMC has unilaterally rejected previous agreements with civilian opposition, despite significant attempts by the protest movement to negotiate a truly democratic future for Sudan

The Rapid Support Forces (RSF) are a paramilitary force comprised of the remnants of the janjaweed militia, which committed the Darfur genocide. The RSF are led by General Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’, deputy head of the Transitional Military Council, which seized power from Omar al Bashir in April 2019.

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