Sudan military rulers suspend talks on civil administration

Sudanese protesters block a street in the capital Khartoum

Sudanese protesters block a street in the capital Khartoum

On Monday, the Transitional Military Council says it has reached an agreement with protest leaders on a transitional power structure.

The protest movement is demanding a civilian-led transition, which the generals have steadfastly resisted since bowing to their demands and toppling longtime autocrat Bashir.

"We made a decision to suspend the negotiations over civil rule for 72 hours to help prepare an atmosphere for completing the deal, ' Burhan said, demanding that protesters dismantle roadblocks in Khartoum, open bridges connecting the capital and other regions and 'stop provoking security forces".

There have been several deadly incidents of violence at the sit-ins, including at the main protest site outside the military headquarters in the capital, Khartoum.

Tensions soared after Monday's shootings, which came a day after protesters blocked a key avenue in Khartoum, an action which the generals said was "totally unacceptable".

Another protester, Rayan al-Hadi, 25, said she would follow the instructions of protest leaders if they decided that barriers should be taken down.

On Monday, similar clashes left five dead, including an army officer, and more than 200 wounded.

He accused armed elements of infiltrating the sit-in area and targeting the armed forces and the rapid support forces.

Also on Wednesday, at least eight people were wounded by gunshots near a Khartoum sit-in, a spokesman for Sudan's protest movement and a witness said.

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"Extremely concerned by use of live ammunition by Sudanese security forces against protesters in Khartoum today, with reports of civilian casualties", Irfan Siddiq wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. The sticking point in the talks remained the makeup of the sovereign council that is to guide the nation through the transition, and the extent the military would have in that council.

"The tragic attacks on protesters. were clearly the result of the Transitional Military Council trying to impose its will on the protesters by attempting to remove roadblocks", the U.S. embassy said in a statement.

There has been a protracted sit-in by protesters outside the army headquarters since the military seized power from veteran leader Omar al-Bashir in April 2019.

However, the protests continued, calling for a transition of power to the civilian authorities.

They further agreed that legislative council is to be comprised of 300 members, 67 percent of which from the Freedom and Change Alliance and the rest from the other political forces.

Earlier on Wednesday, protest leaders said of the ruling military council's decision to suspend talks.

The three-year transition period is considered a compromise between the military's insistence for a two-year period while protesters wanted four years to ensure they had the necessary time to prepare.

"We vow to our people that the agreement will be completed fully within 24 hours in a way that it meets the people's aspirations", said General Yasser al-Atta, one of the members of the current ruling military council.

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