The U.S., Britain and Norway demanded Tuesday that Sudanese authorities deliver a "credible plan for political transition" as deadly demonstrations seeking the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir continued for a fourth day.
Activists behind the protests said at least 13 people were killed in the capital of Khartoum, bringing the death toll to 21 since the weekend, including five soldiers. Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and fire to disperse the protesters.
The three Western countries said that failing to offer a transition plan "risks causing greater instability. The Sudanese leadership has a grave responsibility to avoid such an outcome."
They said the protests "continue to grow and the demand for political change from the courageous and resilient people of Sudan is becoming ever clearer and more powerful. The Sudanese people are demanding a transition to a political system that is inclusive and has greater legitimacy."
"This is a pivotal moment for the future of Sudan," their statement said. "The decisions the Sudanese authorities take now, in an inclusive dialogue, will have a dramatic impact on the lives of 40 million Sudanese people and the stability of the region."
Large groups of protesters have been gathered outside a military compound since Saturday calling for the end of al-Bashir's 30-year autocratic rule. Interior Minister Bushara Juma said Monday that roughly 10,000 protesters rallied outside the headquarters on Saturday, one of the largest crowds since protests broke out more than three months ago.
Sudan police encouraged an agreement for a "peaceful transition of power."
The protests began Dec. 19, with demonstrators accusing Bashir's government of economic mismanagement that has sparked skyrocketing food prices, and fuel and foreign currency shortages.
Bashir imposed a nationwide state of emergency on Feb. 22 in an attempt to suppress the protests after an initial crackdown failed. The government said weeks ago that 31 people had been killed, but the group Physicians for Human Rights estimates the death toll was at least 60 before the latest unrest.
The government continues to enforce tough measures that have resulted in the arrests of protesters, opposition leaders and journalists.
Source: Voice of America