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Iran Press TV

Sudan opposition rejects talks with military council

Iran Press TV

Wed Jun 5, 2019 03:25PM

The umbrella protest movement Alliance for Freedom and Change has snubbed the ruling Transitional Military Council's invitation to talks after at least 60 people were killed in a crackdown against a sit-in outside the army headquarters in Khartoum.

"We do not accept the Transitional Military Council's invitation ... because it is not a source of trust... It is imposing fear on citizens in the streets," Madani Abbas Madani, a leader of the alliance, told Reuters on Wednesday.

Sudanese troops stormed a main protest camp in Khartoum on Monday, prompting clashes with the protesters, who have been camping out there for months to demand the TMC hand over power to a civilian government.

A doctors' group associated with the protesters said on Wednesday that 60 people were killed in the "clearance operation."

In the wake of the crackdown, the military council scrapped all agreements reached with protest leaders after negotiations that followed the ouster of long-time president Omar al-Bashir, and called for snap elections within nine months. Last month, the ruling generals, who set up the TMC after ousting Bashir in April, and the opposition agreed on a three-year transition period and the composition of a parliament.

The military council rowed back on Wednesday amid international condemnation of the violence and invited the protest leaders for new talks.

"We in the military council extend our hand for negotiations without shackles except the interests of the homeland," TMC chief Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said in a televised speech earlier on Wednesday.

The previous talks between the umbrella protest movement Alliance for Freedom and Change and the TMC failed to achieve a breakthrough as the two sides were at odds over the composition of a new governing body and whether it should have a civilian or military majority.

Madani further said that the TMC's offer of talks had come before the detention of one of the opposition alliance members, Yasir Arman, deputy head of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) rebel group.

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