Pope Francis on Sunday appealed for peace in Sudan following a bloody crackdown by security forces on pro-democracy protesters in Khartoum last week.
“The news coming from Sudan is giving rise to pain and concern. We pray for these people, so that the violence ceases and the common good is sought in the dialogue,” the pope said in his weekly address to crowds in St Peter’s Square.
Opposition medics say 113 people were killed in this week’s violence in the Sudanese capital, while the government has put the death toll at 61, including three members of the security services.
Sudan’s main alliance of opposition groups and protesters have urged workers and employees to stay home on Sunday, launching what it called a campaign of civil disobedience to force military rulers to hand over power to civilians.