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Sudanese opposition rejects TMC offer to resume talks over power handover

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Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan's ruling military council, attends an emergency summit of Gulf Arab leaders in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Thursday, May 30, 2019 (AP Photo)
June 5, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The opposition Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) Wednesday have rejected a timid offer by the Transitional Military Council to resume talks over power handover to civilian authority in Sudan.

In a short speech broadcasted on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan the TMC said they are ready to resume talks for negotiations for "the national interest" to "complete the "establishment of the legitimate authority that expresses the aspirations of the revolution of the Sudanese people in their diversity".

The statement comes 24 hours after a previous statement in which he cancelled an agreement with the FFC over the transitional government and parliament, after an attack on the site of protest by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) that killed over 100 people on 3 June.

In a statement released on Wednesday evening, the FFC pointed to "the fall of the mask of the bloody committee", stressing they "will not back down from the resistance and will not negotiate with killers".

Previously the opposition called for a general strike and civilian disobedience in the country to topple the military junta, as the RSF militiamen are deployed in the streets of Khartoum.

Few reports and videos that posted from Sudan, after the ruling TMC has blocked the social media since 3 June, show RSF elements patrolling the empty streets and beating civilians who dare to come out of their home for any reason.

In a tweet posted on Wednesday, Irfan Siddiq British Ambassador to Sudan called on the Sudanese authority to lift the ban on the internet.

"In these critical times, it is essential that everyone can communicate, particularly to urge messages of keeping things calm and peaceful. The authorities must turn the internet back on and keep phone lines open," he said.

The TMC and FFC agreed on a three-year transitional period, the formation of a government of technocrats by the FFC and also a transitional parliament. However, they have to continue discussions on the composition of the collegial presidency, the Sovereign Council, as they diverge over its composition and its chairmanship.

Unconfirmed reports say the African Union’s Peace and Security Council would hold an extraordinary meeting Thursday on Sudan. Initially, it had given the TMC a two-month delay to achieve power transfer to a civilian-led authority.

(ST)

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