Ethiopia is trying to broker a solution to the Sudan crisis after violence

Sudan
A Sudanese demonstrator from the Darfur region waves a Sudanese national flag from atop a bus as he arrives to be part of a mass anti-government protest outside Defence Ministry in Khartoum, Sudan April 30, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Ethiopia’s prime minister sought to mediate a political crisis in Sudan on Friday and urged military rulers and civil disobedience to resolve the impasse that followed the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir.

After the arrival of Abu Ahmed from Addis Ababa, he held separate talks with the two sides following the worst violence since the army overthrew Bashir in April to end his 30-year rule.

The opposition, demanding a civil order, says 113 people were killed during a raid on a sit-in camp on Monday and in a wider campaign that followed. The government says the death toll is 61, including three security forces.

Following the talks with Abi Ahmed, sources said security forces detained Mohammed Ismat, a member of the opposition delegation. The military council could not be reached for comment.

Abu Ahmed’s visit comes a day after the African Union-based African Union suspended Sudan’s activities and backed the opposition’s demand for civil rule.

The team was received by Shams al-Din Kabbashi, spokesman for the Transitional Military Council in Sudan, Abi Ahmed, at Khartoum airport. Later, Abu Ahmed held a meeting with the coalition of the forces of the opposition Declaration of Freedom and Change.

“The army, the people and the political forces must act with courage and responsibility in taking rapid steps towards a democratic and consensual transitional period in the country,” Abe Ahmed said in a statement.

An adviser to Abu Ahmed said the talks had gone well and the prime minister would return to Sudan soon, but there was no news of any progress or any further details.

The junta and the opposition have held weeks of talks on who will lead the transition to democracy, but stalled negotiations have already collapsed in the wake of Monday’s violence and the opposition says it will not hold talks with unreliable rulers.

Abu Ahmed took office last year and began political and economic reforms and gained widespread recognition for his diplomatic skills that allowed peace with Eritrea, his country’s old rival.

The opposition said it would accept his mediation if the military junta was to blame for the violence on Monday, an international investigation into the incident and the release of political prisoners.

The junta said it was ready to negotiate. “The group confirmed the first corner of Abdul Fattah al-Burhan, head of the transitional military council that the council is open to sit down and negotiate a solution at any time.”

The agency added that a number of members of the Council were farewell to the Ethiopian Prime Minister at the airport when he left the country.

– Attacks on hospitals –

The stability of Sudan is of great importance in a turbulent region that is fighting Islamic militants from the Horn of Africa to Egypt and Libya. Various powers, including the wealthy Gulf Arab states, are trying to influence its course.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have close ties to the military junta, saying they are following the developments with concern and supporting a revival of dialogue.

Sudan was on the US list of state sponsors of terrorism under Bashir, a former Islamic general accused of war crimes in the western Darfur region.

The Sudanese Central Committee of Doctors associated with the protest movement said that the injured in the security campaign are crowded in “public and private hospitals, which suffer greatly in the aids to provide medical services.” She said the rapid support forces closed five major hospitals.

“There is a shortage of medical staff, with the systematic restrictions on doctors and medical staff in general, and trying to block the roads in front of them to prevent them from reaching hospitals and then attacking them in the health institutions when treating their people … which could lead to the loss of more lives,” he said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) also said medical workers were apparently targeted for treating the wounded.

Some medical workers were injured and there were reports of rape of female victims during attacks on hospitals, the UN agency said in a statement.

Emergency services were being closed and workers and patients were injured. Tents were erected to treat the injured protesters or set fire to them and medical equipment was taken away.

“These actions represent a total and unacceptable violation of international human rights law and must stop,” said Ahmed El-Maqri, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean.

WHO did not say who was the one who entered the hospitals or attacked the workers, but Amnesty International and the opposition said the rapid support forces were the main culprits in the violence.

The military junta said people wore uniforms to support their impersonation in an attempt to damage their image. He added that security forces were targeted at the storming of the camp on Monday, “two” escaped from the sit-in and caused chaos.

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