Sudan army and protesters agree on 3-year transitional period

18 Mai, 2019, 00:15 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Sudan's military seek to build on a political breakthrough overshadowed by deadly shootings the US blamed on generals

Sudanese opposition leaders behind the protests that drove President Omar al-Bashir from power last month on Thursday criticized the ruling military council for suspending negotiations with their representatives over a peaceful transfer of power to civilian rule.

The suspension came after at least eight people were reported wounded by gunshots near a sit-in in the capital, shortly before decisive talks were to be held between the ruling military council and the protest leaders on a transitional governing body.

Sudan's opposition alliance blamed military rulers on Tuesday for renewed street violence complicating efforts to negotiate a handover to civilian power after last month's ouster of President Omar al-Bashir.

The generals who took power from Bashir have insisted that they should be in charge, while distrustful protesters demand nothing less than civilian leadership.

Sudan's Transitional Military Council and the civilian protest leaders had agreed on the main structure of a transitional government before the talks were suspended.

Lt. Gen. Yasser al-Atta, a military spokesman, said the two sides will spend the next six months negotiating peace deals with rebel outfits across the country, who have always been at odds with the central government.

He also accused the protesters of "provoking and insulting" the armed forces, disrupting life inside the capital, Khartoum, by blocking roads and bridges and allowing "armed elements" into their sit-ins.

Earlier General Yasser al-Atta, one of the members of the current ruling military council, had vowed to reach a deal by early Thursday that "meets the people's aspirations".

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The army generals had initially insisted on a two-year transition period, while the protest leaders wanted four years.

The deal has been widely welcomed by Sudanese protesters still camped outside the army headquarters in Khartoum, beating drums and dancing into the evening on Wednesday, 15 May 2019. The sticking point in the talks remained the makeup of the sovereign council that is to guide the nation through the transition, and the extent the military would have in that council.

Security forces were later seen chasing protesters in downtown Khartoum and removing some roadblocks that demonstrators had put up, an AFP correspondent said.

Medani Abas Medani, a leading member of the opposition alliance, said that they have also agreed to form a joint committee to investigate the violent incidents that took place earlier this week at the sit-in in front of the army's headquarters that left 8 people dead and 200 injured.

"Extremely concerned by use of live ammunition by Sudanese security forces against protesters in Khartoum today, with reports of civilian casualties", Irfan Siddiq wrote on Twitter.

On Monday night, eight people were killed as unidentified forces attacked protesters around the sit-in square.

In Arbaa, some demonstrators blocked roads with burning tyres, a witness said, adding that troops deployed to the area.

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