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Sudan military calls for new talks - protest movement

The call came as thousands of demonstrators remain camped outside army headquarters in central Khartoum, vowing to force the generals to cede power.

FILE: Sudanese men chant slogans as a soldier imitates President Omar al-Bashir waving his trademark cane, on 11 April 2019 during a rally in the capital Khartoum. Picture: AFP.

KHARTOUM - Sudan’s military rulers have invited protest leaders for a new round of talks on transferring power to a civilian administration, the protest movement said on Saturday.

The call came as thousands of demonstrators remain camped outside army headquarters in central Khartoum, vowing to force the generals to cede power just as they forced veteran president Omar al-Bashir from office exactly a month ago.

Talks on the protesters’ key demand for a civilian-led body to oversee a four-year transition have been deadlocked for days, with the military insisting on holding a majority in any new ruling body.

“We received a call from the military council to resume negotiations,” the Alliance for Freedom and Change said in a statement.

Late in April, the alliance, which brings together protest organisers and opposition and rebel groups, handed the generals its proposals for a civilian-led transition.

But the generals have expressed “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.

“We have identified the points of contention with the military council and... decisive talks will revolve around (them) in each meeting,” the alliance said in its statement.

“We want to hold the talks quickly and sort out all these points in 72 hours,” it said without specifying when the negotiations would resume.

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