Sudan army rulers, protesters resume talks over civilian rule

Monday May 13 2019

Sudanese women wave national flags as they take part in a sit-in outside Sudan's army headquarters in Khartoum on May 5, 2019. PHOTO | AFP


Sudan's army rulers and protest leaders resumed crucial talks Monday over handing power to a civilian administration after days of deadlock in negotiations, a spokesperson for the protest movement told AFP.

Protest leaders Omar al-Digeir and Satea al-Haj were among those attending the talks on behalf of the Alliance for Freedom and Change umbrella movement, the group's spokeswoman Mashar Darraj said.

The meeting was being held behind closed doors at a convention centre in central Khartoum, an AFP correspondent reported from the venue.

The latest round of talks, which have hit snags on several key issues, comes as thousands of protesters remain camped outside the army headquarters in central Khartoum.

They say they are determined to force the ruling military council to cede power – just as they pushed the army into deposing veteran president Omar al-Bashir on April 11.

The protest alliance said Saturday the generals had invited the movement for a new round of talks.


The army generals and protesters are at loggerheads over who will sit on a new ruling body that would replace the existing military council.

The generals have proposed that the new council be military led, while the protest leaders want a majority civilian body.

Late last month, the alliance – which brings together protest organisers, opposition parties and rebel groups – handed the generals its proposals for a civilian-led transitional government.

But the generals have pointed to what they call "many reservations" over the alliance's roadmap.

They have singled out its silence on the constitutional position of Islamic sharia law, which was the guiding principle of all legislation under Bashir's rule but is anathema to secular groups like the Sudanese Communist Party and some rebel factions in the alliance.

The alliance has said it wants to "sort out all these points in 72 hours" once the talks resume.

Protesters meanwhile remained camped outside the army head-quarters in the capital, demanding that the generals step down.

Crowds have dwindled during the day due to the scorching heat, but protesters still gather in the thousands after breaking the fast in the evening for the Muslim holy month of Ramadhan.