Sudan protesters to meet Ethiopian mediator as demonstrations rekindle

Sudan protesters to meet Ethiopian mediator amid rekindled protests
2 min read
22 June, 2019
Ethiopia has stepped up its efforts to resolve the political crisis in Sudan and will hold talks with Sudanese protest leaders later Saturday.
Sudanese protesters are demanding the country's ruling military junta hand over power [AFP/Getty]

Sudanese protest leaders were to hold talks later Saturday with an Ethiopian envoy who has been mediating with the ruling generals and drafted a compromise blueprint for a political transition.

"The document is undergoing discussions among members of the alliance who will be meeting with Ethiopian mediator Mahmoud Dardir on Saturday to reflect their view on the proposal," the Alliance for Freedom and Change said.

Ethiopia has stepped up its efforts to resolve the political crisis in Sudan in the wake of a deadly dispersal of a sit-in outside the army headquarters where thousands had been camped since April 6.

The crowds who were initially demanding the ouster of veteran leader Omar al-Bashir stayed put after his fall to call on the generals who took over to hand power to civilians.

At least 128 people have been killed in the crackdown, doctors linked to the protest movement say. The health ministry put the June 3 death toll at 61 nationwide.

Protest leaders say Ethiopia’s mediation is pegged on releasing all detainees and ensuring freedoms.

But the military council's chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan called for "unconditional" negotiations to be resumed.

The raid of the sit-in came after the collapse of previous talks between protest leaders and the generals which hit deadlock over the composition and leadership of a new ruling body to replace the military council.

The generals deny they ordered the army HQ protest broken up, insisting they authorised only a limited operation to clear drug dealers from around the camp. It expressed "regret" over the "excesses" that happened.

The protesters' alliance has insisted on a civilian-led transition. Last week, protest leaders from the Alliance for Freedom and Change started organising daily simultaneous gatherings to revive the protest movement.

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