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U.S. officials, FFC opposition call for power transfer to civilian authority

Tibor P. Nagy, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs (Photo State Deprt)
June 12, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The visiting U.S. top diplomat for Africa Tibor Nagy and the opposition Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) voiced their support for the need to expedite power transfer to a civilian-led authority in Sudan.

Nagy arrived in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Wednesday flanked with Donald Booth who was officially appointed as U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan.

In a statement released late on Wednesday, the opposition coalition said they discussed with the two U.S. officials the power handover process and the "massacre" of the pro-democracy sit-in outside the army headquarters of 3 June.

The FFC said they discussed extensively the need for transparent and internationally recognized investigations into the bloody violence and accountability for those who perpetrated the attacks.

"The two parties agreed on the need to transfer power to civilian-led transitional authority as soon as possible to realize the aspirations of the Sudanese people and the gains of his revolution," further said the FFC in a statement released after the meeting.

Also, the meeting welcomed the mediation undertaken by the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and agreed to support its outcome.

The ruling military junta and the opposition agreed to resume talks on the transfer of power as a result of the Ethiopian mediation.

The Sudanese parties, in addition, pledged to refrain from inflammatory statements and to implement a number of measures aimed at creating a conducive environment before the resumption of talks.

The FFC said they agreed with the America officials that the military council should immediately withdraw military forces and militias from residential areas and replace them with police forces to maintain security.

The release of political prisoners, lifting the internet blackout, and ensuring media freedoms, were also cited in the statement as part of the measures that the ruling junta should implement.

After his arrival to Khartoum and before to meet the opposition FFC, Nagy met with Ilham Ibrahim Mohamed Ahmed the acting Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry as he is expected to meet the military council on Thursday.

The official news agency said that Ilham called to send "positive messages" to the parties engaged in the talks to encourage it to conclude an agreement.

She further stressed that Sudan’s stability is crucial for essential for the stability in the region and the success of the international efforts for combating terrorism, human trafficking, illegal immigration and realizing peace in the neighbouring countries.

According to SUNA, the U.S. official said that the international community support the African Union and Ethiopian efforts to reach an agreement on the arrangements for the transitional period and achieve a democratic transition in Sudan.

He added that they look forward to upgrading the diplomatic representation between the two countries to the level of ambassadors that Sudan would be removed from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.