Sudan protesters vow to press on after talks suspended

Clay Curtis
Мая 18, 2019

The head of Sudan's Transitional Military Council (TMC), Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, accused demonstrators of breaking an understanding on de-escalation while talks were underway and said protesters were disrupting life in the capital by blocking roads outside a protest zone agreed on with the military.

Sudan's opposition alliance said on Thursday the ruling military council's 72-hour suspension of talks with protesters was a "regrettable" setback to efforts to forge a new democratic era following the overthrow of veteran leader Omar al-Bashir.

The announcement comes after at least six protesters and a member of security forces were killed when security and paramilitary troops opened fire on crowds outside military headquarters in the capital Khartoum on Monday.

A month after the military removed longtime authoritarian ruler Omar Al Bashir following a popular uprising, protest representatives and the ruling generals are making progress towards an agreement on a transitional administration to run the country until elections are held.

On Wednesday, the TMC and the opposition Freedom and Change Alliance agreed on powers of the sovereignty council, the council of ministers and the legislative council.

It follows after the killing of six demonstrators by security forces on Monday.

Protest leaders also told AFP earlier that the military council had suspended the talks.

Protesters are demanding a civilian-led transition, which the generals have steadfastly resisted since bowing to their demands and toppling Bashir.

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After Wednesday's incidents, a key group in the protest movement urged people to join the thousands of demonstrators at the site, some of whom have camped out round-the-clock for weeks.

The transitional parliament will have 300 members, of whom 67% will be appointed by the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces and 33% will be negotiated between the two sides.

The negotiating parties also announced a compromise over the length of the transitional period on Wednesday, with both sides agreeing to a three-year interim period.

The make-up of the new sovereign council has been the toughest part of the negotiations, with the two sides so far proposing different compositions of the body which is expected to take all key decisions concerning national issues.

On Monday they blocked roads in central Khartoum in an escalation of tactics after security forces used tear gas to disperse dozens of protesters across the Nile in Khartoum North, Reuters witnesses said.

Our editorial independence means that we can continue to provide factual updates about ongoing protests to Sudanese and global actors, educate people about how to avoid outbreaks of cholera, and provide a window to the world for those in all corners of Sudan.

"We vow to our people that the agreement will be completed fully within 24 hours in a way that it meets the people's aspirations", Atta said.

Washington has consistently called on the military council to transfer power to civilians. They did not go to the trouble of forcing the general-turned-president out of office so that the military replaces him, they say.

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