- The Washington Times - Friday, June 28, 2019

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel is calling for sanctions on the Sudanese security forces, which he says have used “brutal violence against pro-democracy protests in recent weeks.”

In a letter Friday to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin, the New York Democrat called out Lt. Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the commander of the Sudanese military junta’s Rapid Support Forces, for his role in violently suppressing pro-democracy civilian activists.

Protesters camped outside the military’s headquarters for months as the two sides negotiated over who would run the country after longtime president Omar al-Bashi was ousted in April, the Associated Press reported.

The standoff between demonstrators and military forces escalated sharply in recent weeks after government security forces fired on massive street demonstrations in Khartoum and other cities early this month, killing dozens of protesters in the capital and more than 100 others across the country.

At least 128 people have died since the security force’s crackdown on June 3, according to protest organizers. The military authorities, meanwhile, have said 61 people have died including three members of the security forces.

Mr. Engel’s call for sanctions comes days after State Department officials told the committee that sanctions were being considered because of signs that the Trump administration is heeding calls to become more involved in the violent standoff in the oil-rich African state.

“If there is any repeat of the violence and assault on June 3, there will be consequences,” Makila James, deputy assistant secretary of state for East Africa, told a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee Tuesday in the first public hearing on Capitol Hill on the crisis. “We’re looking at all options, including sanctions down the line, should there be any kind of repeat of violence.”

This story is based in part on wire service reports.

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