Protest leaders in Sudan regret stop negotiations and continue sit-in

Sudanese soldiers cheer as they hold up their guns and a national flag during President Omar al-Bashir's visit to Sudan's main petroleum centre of Heglig on April 23, 2012 where Sudan's army says more than 1,000 Southern soldiers died in battle. Bashir said there will be no more talks with South Sudan, as fresh Sudanese air raids dashed hopes for an end to weeks of fighting. AFP PHOTO/ASHRAF SHAZLY (Photo by ASHRAF SHAZLY / AFP)

UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Leaders of Sudan’s protest movement on Thursday expressed regret at the decision by the military junta to suspend negotiations with them over the transitional period but vowed to continue their sit-in outside the army’s headquarters in the capital despite recent violence.

The military council and the forces of freedom and change were supposed to hold the final session of the negotiations on the interim period and the formation of three councils of sovereignty, ministers and legislation to run the country during this stage.

But Wednesday’s shooting around the protest venue in Khartoum led to the ruling transitional military junta suspending the last round of talks with protest forces over the 72-hour transitional period to create a climate for dialogue, the group’s president Abdul Fattah Burhan said on state television.

“The suspension of negotiations is a regrettable decision and does not understand the developments that have taken place in this file,” a statement issued by the forces of freedom and change said Thursday.

The statement came after a fire on Wednesday evening in the vicinity of the sit-in demonstration in front of the General Command of the army, wounding eight people, two days after the killing of six people in the same area as a result of the firing of gunmen.

The general called on the protesters to “remove all barricades outside the perimeter of the sit-in”, open the railway between Khartoum and the rest of the states and stop “harassment and provocation of the armed forces and the forces of rapid support and police.”

The sit-in began in front of the Sudanese army headquarters on April 6 as a continuation of the protest movement launched in December to demand the departure of President Omar al-Bashir, and was removed by the army five days later.

Since then, protesters have been demanding the military council to transfer power.

– Removal of barriers –

“The railway has been open since April 26 and before any request. We have decided in advance to define the sit-in area and we have taken steps in that,” the statement said.

The traffic in the center of the Sudanese capital was a breakthrough after the lifting of the barriers that closed many vital roads in the heart of Khartoum, according to an AFP correspondent Thursday.

Roadblocks were removed from the streets of the Republic, the municipality and the Mukhtar Nimr and became open to cars and traffic. Barriers were also removed from the Central Bank of Sudan Street, which limits the area of ​​the sit-in from the western side.

On the Nile Street, which witnessed the shooting and the injury of some citizens and demonstrators, the barricades and barriers were removed from the west, but there were heavy forces of rapid support vehicles.

The gathering of Sudanese professionals called on the protesters to abide by the sit-in map. He said in his statement that “adherence to this map reduces the possibility of penetrating the rebels any elements Almnds and facilitate the work of insurance committees in the control and insurance.”

An eyewitness told AFP on Wednesday night that “some barriers have already been removed” from areas beyond the borders of the map.

The sit-in was once again calm and cheers were heard from small groups of protesters, as the high temperature did not help to rally a large number of demonstrators during the day.

“They wanted to provoke the people by postponing, but the people are conscious,” said Moatasem Mohammed Saeed, an agricultural engineer and a protestor.

“I saw on Wednesday (Wednesday) rapid support forces beating a tree branch at a girl just because she asked them why they were killing young people with bullets,” said Yusuf al-Dardiri, a checkpoint supervisor.

In a statement, Burhan defended the rapid support forces accused by protesters of assaulting and attacking demonstrators. He said that the rapid support forces “played an important and influential role in the security of the country war and peace.”

– Progress –

The talks have seen significant progress since Monday, and the latest talks were expected to deal with the composition of the sovereign council, one of the three institutions to govern the country during the interim period, which the parties agreed to have for three years.

The negotiations include the establishment of institutions responsible for preparing for the transfer of all powers to civilian authority.

The two sides have already reached agreement on the formation of a sovereign council, a government, and a transitional legislative council.

The first six months will be devoted to peace agreements with rebel movements in the west and south.

The structure of the Legislative Council has also been set, and is expected to include 300 members, 67% of whom are chosen by the Alliance of Freedom and Change Forces. The rest of the seats go to representatives of political forces outside this alliance.


This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for VOP from different countries around the world – edited and published by VOP staff in our newsroom.

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