Sudan’s military rulers, opposition to hold transition talks within 48 hours: Opposition


Khartoum-Negotiators from Sudan’s ruling military council and main opposition coalition have made progress on the sticking points in discussions on the transition from military rule and are set to hold direct talks within 48 hours, an opposition leader said.

The on-off talks on how to run the country after the overthrow of longtime President Omar al-Bashir had been halted on Tuesday after the killing of six people at a rally on Monday, at least four of whom were children.

But on Wednesday, Khalid Omar, from the Forces for Declaration of Freedom and Change opposition alliance (FFC), said their lower-level technical committees isolated the key points of contention in a constitutional declaration that will set the path from military rule to a new sovereign council.

The main delegations will meet for further discussions within 48 hours, Omar told Reuters, without giving details on what had been ironed out.

African Union mediator Mohamed Hassan Lebatt urged the military council and the FFC to sign the declaration.

He also called for a speedy trial for those responsible for shooting the children.

They were killed when security forces broke up a student protest in El-Obeid, 400 km (250 miles) southwest of Khartoum, opposition-linked doctors said. The teenagers were rallying against fuel and bread shortages, residents said.

The reaction to the killings remained raw. Hundreds rallied on Wednesday in El-Obeid, the capital of North Kordofan state, shouting, “Blood for blood! We won’t accept blood money!” a chant that has been used for months during the protests that helped bring down Bashir and since.

The Sudanese Professionals Association, a key part of the FFC, strongly condemned the incident and called for mass nationwide protests on Thursday. It spearheaded the protest movement that led to al-Bashir’s overthrow in April.


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