Key powers urge immediate resumption of Sudan talks: US

Urge protesters and TMC to reach an agreement on the make-up of a new body to govern Sudan for three years


Afp May 18, 2019
Sudanese protesters chant slogans, flash V-for-victory signs and wave the national flag at the sit-in outside the army headquarters in the capital Khartoum on May 14, 2019. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON: Major international powers during talks on Friday in Washington urged Sudan's military rulers and protesters to resume suspended negotiations on the country's future immediately, the United States said.

Representatives from the UN, African Union and European powers "called for an immediate resumption of talks" between the two sides, said Tibor Nagy, the US assistant secretary of state for Africa.

They called on the protesters and the Transitional Military Council to "reach an agreement ASAP on an interim government that is truly civilian-led and reflects the will of the Sudanese people," Nagy tweeted.

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"We also expressed concern about the recent violence directed by security forces against protesters, and agreed to call for the TMC to allow peaceful protests and hold accountable those responsible for recent violence," he wrote.

The talks in Washington included representatives of the United Nations, African Union and European Union.

Countries involved were Britain, France, Germany and Norway as well as Ethiopia, which is the chair of an eight-nation Horn of Africa regional bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, which includes Sudan.

The army last month ousted longtime autocratic president Omar al-Bashir after months of mounting protests led by young people that were sparked by the high cost of bread.

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Protesters have remained camped out, saying that they want a rapid transition to democracy rather than continued military rule.

The generals and protest leaders had been expected to come to an agreement on Wednesday on the thorniest issue - the make-up of a new body to govern Sudan for three years.

But the head of the military council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, early on Thursday announced a suspension of talks for 72 hours as he demanded that protesters dismantle roadblocks and open bridges and railway lines connecting the capital.

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