State Department appoints special envoy to Sudan amid violence

State Department appoints special envoy to Sudan amid violence
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The State Department on Wednesday appointed a special envoy to Sudan amid a civil disobedience campaign in the country's capital.

Ambassador Donald Booth was appointed as the special envoy to Sudan, the State Department said, and will attend meetings in Khartoum, Sudan, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Wednesday and Thursday with Assistant Secretary Tibor Nagy.

Booth previously served as the chief of mission to Ethiopia, Zambia and Liberia and as the U.S. special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan from August 2013 until January 2017. 

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The announcement comes amid mounting unrest in Sudan's capital that was sparked in April with a military coup leading to the ouster of longtime Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

Pro-democracy protesters have railed against the military junta that took his place, demanding a civilian government. The junta includes allies of al-Bashir.

Reports have emerged that more than 100 people were killed amid clashes between protesters and government-backed paramilitary forces last week outside the military headquarters. 

The junta has declared elections will be held in later months, though protesters and domestic observers have expressed skepticism of the validity of such elections.

The State Department said last week it is engaging with officials in the region to produce a peaceful resolution to the conflict. 

“The United States condemns the recent attacks on protesters in Sudan," the department said.

"We send our condolences to the victims and families who lost loved ones. We call on Sudan’s Transitional Military Council and the Rapid Support Forces to desist from violence and we call for resumed contact with the Forces for Freedom and Change with the aim of a civilian-led transition that leads to timely elections and free expression of the will of the Sudanese people," it added.