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Sudanese opposition gives Abiy’s conditional agreement for indirect talks with military junta

Sudan's opposition FFC delegation meets with Ethiopian PM in Khartoum on 7 June 2019 (ST Photo)
June 7, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s opposition Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) have accepted to resume indirect negotiations under some conditions with the Transitional Military Council (TMC) following a meeting with Abiy Armed Ethiopian Prime Minister and head of the IGAD on Friday.

Abiy was in Khartoum for talks with Abdel Fattah al-Burhan the TMC head in line with a decision by the Peace and Security Council of the African Union asking him to broker talks between the Sudanese stakeholders to ensure power transfer to a civilian-led authority.

After his arrival in Khartoum, he met with al-Burhan and the FFC to explore ways to resume discussions between the two sides.

According to the official SUNA, al-Burhan confirmed to Abiy that the Council is "open to join the negotiating table to reach a solution at any time".

The head of the military council on Wednesday launched a timid call for the opposition groups to resume talks on the power transfer. On Tuesday he had suspended the process and cancelled the agreement reached with the FFC.

For their part, the FFC in a statement they released after the meeting, said they "accepted the mediation of the Ethiopian prime minister in principle," provided that the TMC acknowledges the crimes committed during the raid on the main protest site and the formation of an international commission of inquiry.

In addition, they demanded the release of the political prisoners and prisoners of war, ensuring public freedom and the media freedom, withdrawing troops deployed in the streets across Sudan and lift the ban on Internet service.

In its decision, the PSC said the negotiations have to resume immediately without pre-conditions, to discuss the establishment of a civilian-led transitional authority.

The FFC issued a second statement stressing their rejection for direct talks the military council, underscoring that they deal with Abiy’s efforts as an "indirect mediation" in line with the conditions they posed.

The statement further underscored that the purpose of any mediation should be to manage the transfer of power to civilian-led transitional authority in accordance with the Declaration of Freedom and Change.

Abiy’s Statement

In a statement written in Arabic released at the end of the visit, Abiy said that "the unity, stability and sovereignty of Sudan must remain a sacred and uncontested goal".

Further, he said that the duty of the army is to focus their efforts on defending the integrity of the homeland and its sovereignty, "and to play an active and positive role in the transitional phase".

"It is also the duty of the political parties to focus on the fate of the country in the future and not to remain hostage to the mentalities and constraints of the past," he stressed.