Sudan protesters accept Ethiopia proposal for political transition

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KHARTOUM: Sudanese protest leaders on Saturday said they accepted the creation of a civilian-majority governing body for a political transition in Sudan as proposed by an Ethiopian envoy.
The compromise blueprint suggests the creation of a 15-member governing body that would install a civilian administration — comprising eight civilians and seven members of the military, they said.
The ruling military council has yet to give its decision on the Ethiopian proposal.
“We think that our acceptance of the proposal is a major leap toward meeting the goals of the revolution, which are freedom, peace and justice,” protest leader Babiker Faisal told reporters in a brief statement.
“It will put the country on the right track to create the transitional period that would usher in sustainable democracy.”
Of the eight civilians, seven will be from the umbrella protest movement the Alliance for Freedom and Change, another protest leader Amjad Farid had told AFP earlier on Saturday.
Ethiopia has stepped up its efforts to resolve the political crisis in Sudan since the deadly June 3 dispersal of a long-running protest camp outside army headquarters in Khartoum.
Sudan has been wracked by tensions between protest leaders and generals, who seized power after ousting president Omar Bashir in April, and the situation was exacerbated after the crackdown that killed dozens and wounded hundreds.
The crackdown carried out by men in military uniforms came after talks between protest leaders and the generals failed to reach an agreement on the composition of a new ruling body and who should lead it — a civilian or soldier.
Days after the crackdown, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed led the mediation between the two sides.
In previous talks before the June 3 crackdown, protest leaders and the generals had agreed on a three-year transition period and to form a 300-member parliament, with two-third lawmakers from the protest movement.
At least 128 people have been killed in the crackdown, the majority of them on that day, doctors linked to the protest movement say.
The health ministry put the June 3 death toll at 61 nationwide.
The generals deny they ordered the army HQ protest broken up, insisting they authorized only a limited operation to clear drug dealers from around the camp.
It expressed “regret” over the “excesses” that happened on June 3.

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