Sudan Opposition, Military Council to Resume Talks Sunday

Saturday, 18 May, 2019 - 18:00
Asharq Al-Awsat

The Sudanese ruling military council and opposition leaders will resume talks on Sunday after a three-day pause.

The resumption of talks with the Alliance for Freedom and Change, the umbrella protest movement that brought down longtime leader Omar al-Bashir last month, comes following pressure from key world powers to get back to the table.

Talks were expected to focus on the makeup of the sovereign council that is to guide Sudan through the transition, and the role the military would have in that council.

The negotiations were suspended Wednesday just hours after both the military council and the protesters announced they had agreed on the make-up of an interim parliament and a Cabinet for the transitional period, which is to last three years.

The generals and protest leaders had been expected to come to an agreement on the thorniest issue -- the make-up of a new body to govern Sudan for three years that would replace the existing military council that took power after ousting Bashir.

But that meeting never took place and on Thursday the head of the military council, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, confirmed talks were suspended for 72 hours.

Demonstrators subsequently spent hours meeting Burhan's demand to dismantle roadblocks which had paralyzed parts of the capital.

World powers on Friday urged the generals to resume the talks.

Representatives from the United States, the United Nation, African Union and European powers called on both sides to "reach an agreement ASAP on an interim government that is truly civilian-led and reflects the will of the Sudanese people," Tibor Nagy, the US assistant secretary of state for Africa, tweeted on Friday.

The generals have allowed protesters to maintain their sit-in outside Khartoum's army headquarters, where thousands remain camped out to demand a rapid transition to democracy.

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