Sudan’s military and protesters deadlocked over transition talks

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General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, head of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and deputy head of the Transitional Military Council (TMC) delivers an address after the Ramadan prayers and Iftar organized by Sultan of Darfur Ahmed Hussain in Khartoum, Sudan May 18, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah
General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, head of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and deputy head of the Transitional Military Council (TMC) delivers an address after the Ramadan prayers and Iftar organized by Sultan of Darfur Ahmed Hussain in Khartoum, Sudan May 18, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

Sudan’s transitional military council and leaders of the protest movement on Tuesday failed to reach an agreement following a fresh round of talks at the presidential palace over the new sovereign council.

According to a joint statement issued by both parties, the dispute remains the constitution of the council that is supposed to rule Sudan for a three-year transitional period. The council is expected to form a transitional civilian government ahead of the country’s first elections following the ouster of Omar al-Bashir.

The talks also stalled over whether a civilian or a soldier should lead the council.

Neither the TMC nor the protest movement commented on when the talks would resume. The TMC also did not say if talks had been suspended

One of the leaders of the Alliance for Freedom and Change, Satea al-Haj, said the TMC maintains that the president of the council should be from the military. Saj said the TMC is justifying their demand by citing security threats facing the country.

However, the protest movement insists that civilians must form the majority of the council’s members.

The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) protest group has since called for its members to mobilise a general strike. No date was given for when the strike would be called.

Previous talks have yielded results, including a three-year transition period and the formation of a 300-member parliament, of which two-thirds of members would be from the protesters’ umbrella group.

Last week, the TMC suspended talks for 72 hours demanding that protesters remove roadblocks erected on several roads in Khartoum. 

Demonstrations in Sudan have continued after former president Omar al-Bashir was ousted on April 11 as protesters demand the military hands over power to a civilian-led authority.

A meeting of African leaders in April in Cairo, Egypt, agreed to give the TMC three months to implement democratic reforms.

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