- Title: AU mediator urges swift trial for killers of Sudanese schoolchildren
- Date: 31st July 2019
- Summary: KHARTOUM, SUDAN (JULY 31, 2019) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** AFRICAN UNION'S MEDIATOR IN SUDAN, MOHAMED HASSAN LEBATT, STANDING AT NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) AFRICAN UNION MEDIATOR IN SUDAN, MOHAMED HASSAN LEBATT, SAYING: "The African Union strongly condemns the killing of students participating in a peaceful march. As the head of the African Union mediation effort in Sudan, and in all our names, I extend our deepest condolences." JOURNALISTS AT NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) AFRICAN UNION MEDIATOR IN SUDAN, MOHAMED HASSAN LEBATT, SAYING: "We also ask, and strongly urge, that those responsible be quickly arrested, and for them to be, be brought to trial, so they receive the appropriate punishment, according to the law in this country." JOURNALISTS FILMING JOURNALIST ASKING QUESTION (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) AFRICAN UNION MEDIATOR IN SUDAN, MOHAMED HASSAN LEBATT, SAYING: "And by the way, we are informing national, African, and international public opinion, that the joint legal committee made up of both parties - the Freedom and Change Forces as well as the Transitional Military Council - is close to finishing its tasks regarding preparing the constitutional declaration. This is a follow-up to the important political statement agreed upon two weeks ago." JOURNALISTS FILMING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) AFRICAN UNION MEDIATOR IN SUDAN, MOHAMED HASSAN LEBATT, SAYING: "We emphasise that if the tasks involved in these two primary declarations are completed, the door for the civilian government which the people have been demanding, will open widely, headed by a person chosen by the Freedom and Change Forces. A sovereign council must also be formed, made up of a civilian majority." LEBATT LEAVING PODIUM LEBATT LEAVING NEWS CONFERENCE VENUE, SHAKING HANDS
- Embargoed: 14th August 2019 19:19
- Keywords: Sudan killing African Union El-Obeid AU schoolchildren military council
- Location: KHARTOUM AND EL-OBEID, NORTH KORDOFAN STATE, SUDAN
- City: KHARTOUM AND EL-OBEID, NORTH KORDOFAN STATE, SUDAN
- Country: Sudan
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Civil Unrest
- Reuters ID: LVA001AQ41C93
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES
The African Union's mediator for Sudan on Wednesday (July 31) called for a speedy trial for those responsible for killing schoolchildren at a protest in the city of El-Obeid.
Six people, at least four of whom were children, were shot dead on Monday (July 29) when security forces broke up a student protest in the city, 400 km (250 miles) southwest of Khartoum, according to opposition-linked doctors. The teenagers were rallying against fuel and bread shortages, residents said.
The children's deaths came at a time of heightened tension between Sudan's military rulers and the main opposition coalition, and delayed already stalled talks over a transition deal following the overthrow of long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir.
Mohamed Hassan Lebatt also called on the ruling military council and opposition coalition to sign a constitutional declaration they have been wrangling over for weeks.
A joint committee from both sides was to meet later on Wednesday, when it is expected to complete its work on the document, he told a news conference. A date will be set for signing the constitutional declaration after the meeting, Lebatt said. The declaration may help ease a transition towards civilian rule, with Lebatt saying a sovereign council must be set up, with most of its members civilians.
(Production: Nadeen Ebrahim, El Tayeb Siddig, Hywel Davies)
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