Kerry avoids criticising Sudan's crackdown on rioters

2013-10-01 07:52
John Kerry

John Kerry (File: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday met with his Sudanese counterpart Ali Karti but failed to repeat strong US criticism of a deadly crackdown on protesters.

Thousands have taken to the streets to protest a more than 60% jump in petrol and diesel prices that took effect on 23 September - the worst urban unrest in the history of President Omar al-Bashir's 24-year reign.

Authorities say 34 people have died in the protests. But activists and international human rights groups said at least 50 people were gunned down, most of them in the greater Khartoum area.

The real toll was difficult to determine but "could be as much as 200", a foreign diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity

On Friday, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki blasted which she called a "brutal crackdown" by Khartoum on the protestors, adding it was "heavy-handed and disproportionate."

But in Kerry's meeting with Karti at the State Department on Monday, the crackdown was "not a topic," Psaki said.

The two men "discussed the importance of peace between Sudan and South Sudan and the need to end the conflicts in Darfur, Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan," she said, as well as the need to allow humanitarian access to protect civilians.

"This was not a long meeting; they discussed a range of issues," she added.

Bashir's request for a US visa to be able to attend the UN General Assembly in New York was also raised, Psaki said without giving further details.

Citing confidentiality, she refused to confirm whether the US had denied or granted a visa to Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes in Darfur.

Karti on Friday addressed the assembly and accused the United States of denying Bashir the visa, which he said breached its obligations as the host of the United Nations.

He slammed the United States for what he called "a serious violation of the principles and purposes set forth in the Charter of the United Nations".

Bashir did not appear at the UN podium, with Karti taking his place, but it remained unclear whether he had chosen not to travel or been refused a US visa.

Read more on:    international criminal court  |  un  |  omar al-bashir  |  john kerry  |  sudan  |  us  |  east africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.