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Sudan’s military, opposition resume talks on power transfer Sunday

Freedom and Change forces and military council meet at the Sudanese presidency in Khartoum on 27 April 2019 (ST photo)
May 18, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s transitional military junta on Saturday announced the resumption of negotiations with the opposition groups that led 4-month protests against the former regime on Sunday.

"The Transitional Council announces the resumption of negotiations with the Declaration of the Forces of Freedom and Change on Sunday, 14 Ramadan, 19 May 2019 at the Presidential Palace," the military media said in a brief statement.

During the first hours of Thursday, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan the head of the Transitional Military Council (TMC) suspended for 72-hours the discussions with the opposition forces over the power transition process. He required that the opposition removes roadblocks from the streets around the protest site outside the army headquarters.

The suspension also came after attempts by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) to open the roads and attacks on protesters that killed 5 civilians and one army officer. The TMC denied the responsibility for the attacks and ordered an investigation.

On Monday and Tuesday, the two sides agreed that the duration of the transitional period will be for three years and that the parliament will be composed of 300 appointed lawmakers. Also, the technocrat government will be appointed by the opposition groups.

Opposition sources confirmed to Sudan Tribune the receipt of an invitation to resume negotiations on Sunday.

"The outstanding points can be resolved within one hour if the military showed seriousness and genuine desire to end the current state of political tension," the source said.

The upcoming round of talks is expected to discuss the proportions of representation in the sovereign council, which will include civilians and military alike.

Al-Burhan’s military council is under regional and international pressures to expedite the transfer of power.

In a meeting held in Washington on Friday, U.S. EU diplomats discussed was to ensure and support power handover to a civilian-led government. The meeting was also attended by the UN, African Union and IGAD officials.

For their part, U.S. lawmakers urged Trump Administration to press the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia to not encourage the military council to keep power.

The two Gulf countries announced a $3 billion aid support to Sudan after the removal of the Islamist president Omer al-Bashir.