New hope for Sudan

08 July 2019 | International

Talks between Sudan's ruling generals and protest leaders, held after weeks of standoff following a deadly crackdown on protesters, entered a second day Thursday with the key issue of forming a new governing body still unresolved.

Sudan has been rocked by a political crisis since the army ousted long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir in April on the back of widespread protests, with the ruling generals resisting demonstrators' demands to hand power to a civilian administration.

The generals had previously agreed over a broad civilian structure, but talks between the two sides collapsed in May following a disagreement over who should lead an overall new governing body - a civilian or a soldier. Tensions further surged between the generals and protest leaders after a deadly pre-dawn raid on a longstanding protest camp in Khartoum on June 3 killed dozens of demonstrators and wounded hundreds. Talks finally resumed Wednesday after intense mediation by Ethiopian and African Union envoys, who have proposed a draft proposal to break the deadlock.

“The discussion will be about who heads the sovereign council,” a prominent protest leader who is part of the talks, Ahmed al-Rabie, told AFP, referring to the governing body.

He said the ruling military council that took power after Bashir's ouster insists the head of the new governing body be from the army.

“We believe that symbolically the head of the state must be a civilian,” Rabie said.

For weeks this issue has rocked Sudan, extending the political crisis triggered since the fall of Bashir. The joint Ethiopian and African Union blueprint calls for a civilian-majority ruling body.

On Wednesday, the first day of the latest round of talks, the two sides did not discuss the crucial issue of the governing body.

“The parties conducted responsible negotiations and agreed on some issues,” African Union mediator Mohamed El Hacen Lebatt told reporters overnight after long hours of talks held at a luxury hotel in the capital.

“There's a decision taken to release all political detainees.”

About 235 fighters from a faction of a Darfur rebel group that is part of the protest movement were expected to be released later on Thursday. Protest leaders have exerted pressure on the generals since the June 3 raid on the mass sit-in outside army headquarters.

The raid was carried out by men in military fatigues.

The ruling military council insists it did not order the violent dispersal of the sit-in.

At least 136 people have been killed across the country since the raid, including more than 100 on June 3, according to doctors close to the umbrella protest movement, the Alliance for Freedom and Change. The health ministry says 78 people have been killed nationwide over the same period.

Last weekend, protest leaders managed to mobilise tens of thousands of supporters in the first mass protest against the generals since the raid.

The mass rally had been seen as a test for the protest leaders' ability to mobilise crowds after the generals imposed a widespread internet blackout and deployed security forces in the capital's key squares and districts, its twin city Omdurman and other towns and villages.

Protest leaders have further upped the pressure on the generals by calling for a similar mass protest on July 13, to be followed by a nationwide civil disobedience campaign a day later. The campaign, if observed, would be the second such agitation since the June 3 raid.

The first, held between June 9 and 11, paralysed the country, hitting an already dilapidated economy hard.

NAMPA/AFP

Similar News

 

Genocide negotiations 'too slow'

1 day - 16 July 2019 | International

In Germany there is no doubt about the suffering that imperial Germany caused Namibians, says Daniel Günther, the president of the Bundesrat of the Federal...

Sudan transition deals sees delays

2 days ago - 15 July 2019 | International

Thousands of Sudanese protesters have poured onto the streets of Khartoum and other cities to mark the 40th day since the deadly dispersal of a...

US 'concentration camps'

2 days ago - 15 July 2019 | International

United States Vice-president Mike Pence visited an overcrowded migrant camp in Texas on Friday, coming face to face with detainees held in horrific conditions, and...

Call for Libyan ceasefire

1 week ago - 08 July 2019 | International

The UN Security Council called on Friday for a ceasefire in Libya as the death toll from a three-month offensive on Tripoli reached 1 000,...

Botswana govt to appeal gay rights ruling

1 week ago - 08 July 2019 | International

Botswana's government will appeal a June high court ruling that decriminalised homosexuality, the attorney-general said on Friday.Abraham Keetshabe, the government's chief legal advisor, said he...

New hope for Sudan

1 week ago - 08 July 2019 | International

Talks between Sudan's ruling generals and protest leaders, held after weeks of standoff following a deadly crackdown on protesters, entered a second day Thursday with...

Toddler rape sparks protest

1 week ago - 08 July 2019 | International

Thousands of protesters marched in Yangon on Saturday as outrage over the rape of a two-year-old spilled onto the streets following a viral online campaign...

Looking for El Chapo's billions

1 week ago - 08 July 2019 | International

Prosecutors on Friday said they were seeking US$12.7 billion from convicted Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman, based on a conservative estimate of revenues...

SA govt to review single-use plastic policy

1 week ago - 08 July 2019 | International

The SA government is reviewing its policy on single-use plastics and intends to complete this process by the end of this financial year.In a written...

23% of NDF soldiers women

3 weeks ago - 25 June 2019 | International

With 23% representation, Namibia is amongst the SADC countries with the highest proportion of women in its defence force.This is according to deputy prime minister...

Latest News

Keeping up with the neighbours

15 hours ago | Economics

LuandaYou would need around US$2 535.97 in Windhoek to maintain the same standard of living that you can have with US$7 600 in Luanda, assuming...

88 schoolgirls fall pregnant in...

15 hours ago | Education

Eighty-eight learners, including two girls in Grade 7, fell pregnant in the Oshana Region during the first term of 2019. Oshana governor Elia Irimari...

Stop blaming Aawambo - Kapofi

15 hours ago | Government

Home affairs minister Frans Kapofi has cautioned against tribalism and pointed out that there is a growing perception that only the Aawambo are beneficiaries of...

Mom begs for mercy

15 hours ago | Justice

A mother of three minor children is asking the High Court to reduce her four-year prison sentence, or fine her instead, after she pleaded guilty...

Relevant IFRS themes: Anytime, anywhere

15 hours ago | Business

A good understanding of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) is crucial to the financial reporting process of IFRS reporters. Banks and Insurers in particular have...

Standard Bank faces strike vote

15 hours ago | Labour

ELVIRA HATTINGH Members of the Bank Workers Union of Namibia (Bawon) are to vote on whether to strike...

Let us tread carefully

15 hours ago | Opinion

When expectations are not met, citizens wronged in this regard should have channels, means and ways to air their grievances and have them addressed effectively.In...

Big banks target South Africa's...

15 hours ago | Business

Emma Rumney - South Africa's biggest banks are betting cut-price accounts, big mortgages and offers on everything from Adidas backpacks to Xboxes will help them...

Zim inflation almost doubles, stirring...

15 hours ago | Economics

MacDonald Dzirutwe and Karin Strohecker - Prices of cooking oil and other basics soared in Zimbabwe as inflation nearly doubled in June, piling pressure on...

Load More