Sudan violence prompts Trump admin. to send senior envoy to meet military leaders

By Debora Patta

/ CBS News

Top U.S. diplomat visits Sudan amid unrest

The Trump administration is sending its top diplomat for Africa to Sudan amid mounting global concern over the bloody crackdown on pro-democracy activists by the country's ruling military council. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Tibor Nagy was to meet leaders in Sudan just a week after more than 100 people were killed by government backed paramilitary forces.

Unrest mounted quickly in April after the military ousted Sudan's long-time dictator, Omar al-Bashir. For months, pro-democracy activists had demonstrated, demanding al-Bashir's ouster, but they wanted him replaced by a civilian government — not a military junta which includes people who were loyal for years to the autocrat.

The Sudanese people are still desperate for respite after three decades of harsh rule under al-Bashir. The violence reached a crescendo last week with the crackdown on the protest sit-in outside the military headquarters. The details of what actually happened over the course of just one bloody day last week were still emerging on Tuesday.

Trending News

Doctors have said they counted at least 118 bodies after the siege by government-backed paramilitary groups, including 40 pulled out of the Nile River. The government has only admitted to about 60 deaths.

Sudan military offers talks after deadly crackdown

Protesters have demanded a swift transfer to civilian rule since the military seized control from Bashir and locked him up. But after last week's brutal crackdown many opposition leaders have been forced underground.

Internet access has been cut off in Sudan and other means of communication severely restricted.

Even more disturbing have been harrowing accounts emerging of men and women being raped by the paramilitary group, known as the Rapid Support Forces or RSF. Doctors said hospitals in Khartoum had recorded more than 70 cases of rape during last week's attack on the protesters and in its immediate aftermath.

How we got here

It began with such high hopes. In December an economic crisis underscored by rising bread prices resulted in rolling mass protests, demanding al-Bashir step down.

They didn't stop until al-Bashir was forced out by his military generals in April, ending three decades of autocratic rule. He has been indicted by an international court on charges including genocide and crimes against humanity for atrocities committed in Sudan's Darfur region.

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir ousted by army

The civilian uprising that precipitated his ouster was disappointed by al-Bashir's replacement with a military junta. Talks between the two sides went nowhere, and the protests were met with the vicious crackdown last week resulting in death, rape and hundreds of injuries.

What is the world doing?

There has been harsh condemnation of the bloody crackdown, but other than that here has been little concrete pushback from the United Nations or Western nations, including the United States. The African Union suspended Sudan's membership and also called for an end to the violence.

The ruling junta's shut-down of internet access in Sudan has made it difficult to get information, so there has also been limited media coverage of what's happening inside the country.

The generals have said they need to hold onto power for another nine months, when they promise elections. But there are widespread fears that those elections would not be free or fair, and would be orchestrated simply to legitimize the appointment of a new military dictator.

Democracy advocates point to Egypt as an example of this happening in recent history, after a similar popular uprising was quashed there. There are also concerns over the current ruling generals' ties with the autocratic regimes in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which could be helping to pull strings in Sudan.

With all this in mind the Trump administration has dispatched Nagy to call for a cessation of violence and a resumption of peace talks. He will also visit neighboring Ethiopia to discuss options for a political solution to the Sudan crisis with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

The Ethiopian leader has tried to mediate between the military and protesters in Sudan, but as the generals have the political and financial backing of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, there is little incentive right now for them to back down.

CBSNews.com's Tucker Reals contributed to this report.

First published on June 11, 2019 / 3:43 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Internal Trump campaign poll finds Biden leading in key states

The poll by campaign pollster Tony Fabrizio found Biden doing well across a broad swath of the country

2M ago

Americans taking on Thailand in first World Cup match

The U.S. women open up group play today

9M ago

8-year-old boy rescued after drifting out to sea on unicorn float

"The float was right there, in easy reach and then just in the blink of an eye, it was beyond the breakers," a volunteer rescuer said

15M ago

Gun seller United Sporting goes bust, partly blaming Trump's election

The 85-year-old company anticipated that increased weapons sales would follow a victory by Hillary Clinton in 2016

19M ago

Judge declares mistrial on 8 charges against Kellen Winslow Jr.

The judge also denied a defense motion to dismiss the undecided allegations involving the alleged rapes of a hitchhiker and an unconscious teen

31M ago

Internal Trump campaign poll finds Biden leading in key states

The poll by campaign pollster Tony Fabrizio found Biden doing well across a broad swath of the country

2M ago

Pentagon chief urges military to maintain "apolitical nature"

Patrick Shanahan's comes after White House officials tried to obscure the USS John S. McCain from President Trump's view

1H ago

House votes on enforcing subpoenas for Trump administration officials

The full House is voting on whether to to pursue court enforcement of their subpoenas

1H ago

New York could become first state to fully decriminalize sex work

The bill aims to eliminate criminal penalties for sex workers, who are often targets of street violence and arrests

1H ago

10 states file suit to block T-Mobile merger with Sprint

Deal to combine two of the largest wireless carriers would cost subscribers at least $4.5 billion per year, states claim

updated 33M ago

Americans taking on Thailand in first World Cup match

The U.S. women open up group play today

9M ago

U.S. envoy to meet Sudan leaders after deadly crackdown on protests

Global outcry over military junta's violent reaction to pro-democracy movement has done little to change the prospects for Sudan's beleaguered population

17M ago

Study: One-sixth of marine life at risk from climate change

The study argues losses could be offset by a reduction in carbon pollution

1H ago

David Ortiz has more surgery in Boston after shooting

Ortiz, 43, is expected to stay in intensive care for at least 48 hours

2H ago

Canada to ban single-use plastics as early as 2021

Inspired by an earlier EU move, Canada's government may ban items like plastic bags, water bottles, straws and earbuds

3H ago

Kendall Jenner's alleged stalker deported back to Canada

John Ford was arrested for trespassing at Jenner's home twice; one time he was found in her swimming pool

2H ago

Highest-grossing movies of all time, ranked

What's the highest-grossing movie of all time? It might be one of your favorites

Jun 4 27 photos

Brand new full-length "Frozen II" trailer released

The new trailer, much like the earlier teaser, looks ominous, with Elsa in a precarious situation

5H ago

Kim Kardashian West shares first close-up image of new baby

The photo shows little Psalm sleeping on a blanket

19H ago

Billy Porter wears curtain dress to Tonys

Pink tulle spilled out from underneath the embellished red dress, which was custom made for Billy Porter for the Tony Awards. The outfit was crafted from a curtain used in "Kinky Boots"

20H ago 01:12

Amazon tops Apple and Google as world's most valuable brand

Ecommerce giant tops ranking for the first time, with tech players dominating the list

updated 43M ago

10 states file suit to block T-Mobile merger with Sprint

Deal to combine two of the largest wireless carriers would cost subscribers at least $4.5 billion per year, states claim

updated 33M ago

Amazon to end its U.S. restaurant delivery service

A 4-year-old business that failed to take off amid fierce competition from Uber Eats, DoorDash, GrubHub and others

3H ago

Reports: 10 states moving to block Sprint/T-Mobile merger

New York Attorney General leading charge to stop $26 billion deal to combine two of the largest wireless carriers

3H ago

Newsrooms blame big tech for taking their ad dollars

As Congress holds antitrust hearings, publishers say Google reaped nearly $5 billion from their products last year

updated 52M ago

Study: One-sixth of marine life at risk from climate change

The study argues losses could be offset by a reduction in carbon pollution

1H ago

Canada to ban single-use plastics as early as 2021

Inspired by an earlier EU move, Canada's government may ban items like plastic bags, water bottles, straws and earbuds

3H ago

"Zombie snake" found in U.S. can roll over and play dead

To deter predators, the snake goes belly up and opens its mouth to "play dead," but it's all just a very dramatic act

3H ago

Unknown mass larger than Hawaii discovered on moon

Scientist think it could be leftover metal from a previous asteroid strike

5H ago

4.0 earthquake rocks area near Cleveland

No injuries have been reported connected to the earthquake

Jun 10

"Elderhood" author on why older people are happier

We should "look at the final third of life with the same concern, curiosity, creativity, and rigor as we view the first two-thirds," Dr. Louise Aronson writes

1H ago

Jon Stewart to House: "You should be ashamed of yourselves"

"Accountability appears to not be something that occurs in this chamber," Stewart admonished at hearing on 9/11 responders bill

updated 48M ago

Target's expanded paid family leave includes part-time workers

As labor market tightens, the retailer offers new family-care perks to all its 360,000 full-time and part-time employees

3H ago

Researchers test vaccine they hope could stem Alzheimer's

University of New Mexico researchers have tested their experimental Alzheimer's vaccine in mice

7H ago

Planned Parenthood can stay open for now, judge rules

Planned Parenthood will be allowed to continue operations even as the state has refused to renew its license

20H ago

Gun seller United Sporting goes bust, partly blaming Trump's election

The 85-year-old company anticipated that increased weapons sales would follow a victory by Hillary Clinton in 2016

19M ago

Amazon tops Apple and Google as world's most valuable brand

Ecommerce giant tops ranking for the first time, with tech players dominating the list

updated 43M ago

10 states file suit to block T-Mobile merger with Sprint

Deal to combine two of the largest wireless carriers would cost subscribers at least $4.5 billion per year, states claim

updated 33M ago

Amazon to end its U.S. restaurant delivery service

A 4-year-old business that failed to take off amid fierce competition from Uber Eats, DoorDash, GrubHub and others

3H ago

Canada to ban single-use plastics as early as 2021

Inspired by an earlier EU move, Canada's government may ban items like plastic bags, water bottles, straws and earbuds

3H ago

Judge declares mistrial on 8 charges against Kellen Winslow Jr.

The judge also denied a defense motion to dismiss the undecided allegations involving the alleged rapes of a hitchhiker and an unconscious teen

31M ago

David Ortiz has more surgery in Boston after shooting

Ortiz, 43, is expected to stay in intensive care for at least 48 hours

2H ago

Kendall Jenner's alleged stalker deported back to Canada

John Ford was arrested for trespassing at Jenner's home twice; one time he was found in her swimming pool

2H ago

Husband's DNA found on faucet with missing mom's blood, prosecutor says

Fotis Dulos and his missing estranged wife Jennifer had been involved in a contentious divorce and custody battle

2H ago

David Ortiz back in Boston after shooting in Dominican Republic

The baseball star is continuing to receive treatment after he was shot in the back at nearly point-blank range Sunday night

4H ago

Unknown mass larger than Hawaii discovered on moon

Scientist think it could be leftover metal from a previous asteroid strike

5H ago

Tonight is the best night of 2019 to see Jupiter

NASA has a message for space lovers this month: Look up

18H ago

Trump criticizes NASA moon plans he approved

In a tweet, the president disparaged NASA's moon mission plan that his administration had endorsed

Jun 7

NASA to allow private astronauts on space station

NASA's plan could make way for visits by private-sector astronauts to the International Space Station as early as next year

Jun 7

NASA opening access to space station

CBS News space consultant Bill Harwood joins CBSN to discuss NASA's announcement that commercial astronauts will be allowed to travel to the International Space Station starting next year.

Jun 7 06:04

Tony Awards 2019: Red carpet looks from your favorite stars

See Broadway stars walk the red carpet at Radio City Music Hall in New York City at the 73rd Annual Tony Awards

Jun 9 39 photos

Jayme Closs case: Recently released evidence photos

At Jake Patterson's sentencing hearing, prosecutors showed a select few evidence photos to the court and asked that Patterson be sentenced to life in prison for the murders of Jayme Closs' parents and the 13-year-old's kidnapping

Jun 8 14 photos

Summer music 2019

It's summertime – time for music at festivals and venues across the country

Jun 8 35 photos

11 photos of former NICU babies show how far they've come

These babies proudly hold photos of their former selves to celebrate their amazing progress since graduating from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Jun 5 11 photos

Evidence photos in the disappearance of Jodi Huisentruit

Jodi Huisentruit, the morning news anchor at Iowa's KIMT-TV was reported missing on June 27, 1995. Mason City Police are still at work trying to solve this case 23 years later.

Jun 1 26 photos

Popular

Biden, in Iowa, trades insults with Trump

Former Vice President Joe Biden hit the campaign trail in Iowa as President Trump slammed him as being "mentally weak." CBS News' Ed O'Keefe joins CBSN from Iowa with more on the latest developments.

updated 5M ago 06:12

GOP Rep. on capitalism & climate change

Georgia Republican Congressman Rob Woodall spoke to CBSN Tuesday following a House Budget hearing focusing on the risks posed by climate change. Woodall told CBSN's Reena Ninan about the hearing as well as why he hasn't read the Mueller report.

updated 38M ago 12:38

Tackling a mistake – the smart way

Ever make a mistake and feel like it’s the end of the world? Well, New York Times Smarter Living editor Tim Herrera has some advice for you in his latest newsletter titled: "So You’ve Made a Huge Mistake. What Now?" He joins CBS This Morning co-host Tony Dokoupil in the Toyota Green Room to discuss how to tackle your misstep head on.

1H ago 08:23

Jon Stewart's emotional testimony on 9/11 fund

The former "Daily Show" host and activist for veterans and first responders gave emotional testimony expressing his anger with Congress for not addressing 9/11 survivor health issues.

2H ago 08:34

Study: Google makes billions from news content

A bipartisan bill would temporarily free news publishers from antitrust laws. This comes as big tech companies are accused of sucking up profits from news organizations. David Chavern, president and CEO of News Media Alliance, joined CBSN to discuss the testimony he will make at today's House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on tech platforms' effects on journalism.

3H ago 07:25