Sudan army 'suspends' talks until roads cleared

Sudan army 'suspends' talks until roads cleared

Military rulers in Sudan on Thursday suspended talks with protesters on installing civilian rule, insisting more time was needed to finalize the deal.

Sudanese protesters say security agents loyal to ousted President Omar al-Bashir attacked their sit-ins overnight, setting off clashes that left six people dead, including an army officer, and heightened tensions as the opposition holds talks with the ruling military council.

Protesters tear down a banner with a picture of Sudan's head of transitional council, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan Abdelrahman and pictures of Sudanese soldiers and protesters together, minutes after it was hanged to a railroad bridge near the defence ministry in Khartoum, Sudan, on April 20, 2019.

They "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 on its Facebook page.

Just hours before the talks were due to start, the Alliance for Freedom and Change, wrote on Facebook that eight people had been wounded by live fire.

"The decision for security forces to escalate the use of force. led directly to the unacceptable violence later in the day" that got out of control, it said.

"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 United States embassy said in a statement.

"They asked us to dismantle barricades in parts of the capital", Rashid al-Sayid, a spokesman for the protest group, the Alliance for Freedom and Change told reporters, referring to roadblocks put up by demonstrators on key roads in recent days, including on the Nile Street - a key avenue - that had angered the generals.

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On Thursday morning, several roadblocks in downtown Khartoum had been taken down, an AFP correspondent reported, adding that troops from the paramilitary Rapid Support Force (RSF) were deployed in some areas. "The barriers are there and they are not moving until our demands are met".

The transitional parliament will have 300 members, of whom 67% will be appointed by the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces and 33% will be negotiated between the two sides.

The generals want it to be military-led, while the protesters insist on a majority civilian body.

"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", Atta said.

In a statement Monday, the office of Sudan's prosecutor-general said Bashir and others "have been charged for inciting and participating in the killing of demonstrators".

In the agreement announced on Wednesday the two sides said the transition would last three years - a compromise between the military council's proposal of two years and the opposition DFCF's preference for four.

He said the TMC, which took over after overthrowing and jailing Bashir last month, had chose to remove all barricades put up by demonstrators beyond the area where the protesters had been camping since April 6 outside the Defence Ministry.

That civilian government would work towards having the first post-Bashir elections after the end of the transition period.

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