SUDAN PROTESTERS AGREE TO DIRECT TALKS WITH RULING GENERALS

By Jolly Gwari and Agencies

The ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) and an opposition coalition have wrangled for weeks over what form Sudan’s new the government should take after the military deposed long-time president Omar al-Bashir on April 11.

Tensions further soared after a brutal crackdown on a longstanding protest camp in Khartoum killed dozens of demonstrators exactly a month ago. The mediators have now come up with a compromise to resolve the overall crisis that has rocked Sudan for months, following the military ouster of longtime leader Omar al-Bashir in April amid widespread protests against his rule.

Auspiciously,  Sudan’s protest leaders have finally agreed to hold direct talks with the ruling generals after African Union and Ethiopian mediators urged the two sides to resume stalled negotiations about a new governing body. “The forces of the Freedom and Change Alliance have met and decided to respond to the invitation for direct negotiations according to basic observations.

The most important of them is that we should receive a written copy of the mediation’s proposed a document containing the amendments which we have suggested,” said Madani Abbas Madani, a leading figure in the alliance, at a press conference in Khartoum. The alliance’s announcement came amid calls from the United Nations human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, on Sudanese authorities to ensure a swift transition to a civilian government.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Bachelet said Sunday’s mass protests – described as the “millions march” appeared to be “unprecedented in recent Sudanese history”.Notably, the ruling military council that seized power after the army’s ouster of Bashir has still not responded to the plea for talks by the mediators.

Several conditions placed before the alliance 

“Our conditions included the categorical rejection of a permanent military presidency of the sovereign council, the ratification of previous agreements between the two parties, the handing over of a written document by the military council confirming this, and the review of confidence-building and approval procedures,” Madani before discussions began.

Other conditions were the release of political detainees from the protest movement and the formation of an international committee to investigate the deadly disperal of a protest sit-in on June 3 that killed dozens of people added Madani.

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