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Senior US envoy to urge dialogue on Sudan visit

Members of Sudan's paramilitary Rapid Support Forces patrol the capital Khartoum on the second day of a nationwide civil disobedience campaign
Members of Sudan's paramilitary Rapid Support Forces patrol the capital Khartoum on the second day of a nationwide civil disobedience campaign Members of Sudan's paramilitary Rapid Support Forces patrol the capital Khartoum on the second day of a nationwide civil disobedience campaign AFP
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Washington (AFP)

The top US diplomat for Africa will head to Sudan to encourage talks between Sudan's military rulers and protesters whom security forces violently put down, the State Department said Monday.

Tibor Nagy, the assistant secretary of state for African affairs, plans to meet both members of the military leadership and protest leaders in Khartoum.

"He will call for a cessation of attacks against civilians and urge parties to work toward creating an enabling environment" for talks to resume, a State Department statement said.

Protesters, led by students concerned by the rising cost of living, rallied for months, with the movement leading the army to oust veteran leader Omar al-Bashir in April.

But the army last week crushed the continued demonstrations, leaving dozens dead, after a stalemate in talks in which the protesters called for a swift transition to civilian rule.

Nagy denounced the crackdown as "brutal" and warned Sudan that it needed to transition to a civilian-led government if it wants to improve relations with the United States.

Nagy will leave on the trip on Wednesday and also visit Ethiopia to discuss the Sudan crisis with the regional power as well as the African Union.

The senior diplomat will also visit Mozambique, where he will participate in a US-Africa business conference, and South Africa, where he will deliver a speech on US policy toward the continent at Wits University in Johannesburg.

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