Sudan’s TMC Suspends Talks with Opposition for 72 Hours

Sudan’s TMC Suspends Talks with Opposition for 72 Hours

At least nine people were wounded on Wednesday when Sudanese forces used live ammunition to clear demonstrators from central Khartoum, a protest group said, and talks on forming a body to lead Sudan to democracy have been suspended for 72 hours.

The head of Sudan's Transitional Military Council (TMC), Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, accused the demonstrators of breaking an understanding on de-escalation while talks were underway and said protesters were disrupting life in the capital by blocking roads outside a protest zone agreed upon with the military.

Khartoum has been plagued by protests in recent weeks, despite the opposition's success in ousting long-running dictator Omar al-Bashir from power last month, with locals demanding the military hand full control over to civilian rule.

Both the protesters and the transitional military council say the violence was instigated by al-Bashir loyalists from within the security forces.

Atta also said that, during the transitional period, the Parliament will be composed of 300 members, of which 67 percent will be from the Alliance for Freedom and Change and the rest will be from other political groups.

The opposition and military were meeting again on Tuesday to discuss two sticking points: the military-civilian balance of power in transitional bodies and the timeframe for elections.

"We made a decision to suspend the negotiations over civil rule for 72 hours to help prepare an atmosphere for completing the deal", Burhan said, demanding that protesters dismantle roadblocks in Khartoum, open bridges connecting the capital and other regions and "stop provoking security forces".

Widespread confrontations have erupted in the past two days between the RSF and protesters, who attempted to expand the area of the sit-in, closing many main roads in the capital Khartoum.

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Early on Wednesday the military announced a committee to investigate the targeting of protesters after at least four people were killed in violence in Khartoum on Monday.

Just hours before the talks were due to start, the Alliance for Freedom and Change, wrote on Facebook that eight people had been wounded by live fire.

However, the council reportedly pledged it would not use force to disperse the protesters.

The military junta that deposed Omar al-Bashir said the alliance would have two thirds of the seats on a legislative council.

Sudan's season of mass protests, which eventually prompted the army to intervene and force Bashir from power, began in December 2018 as a modest demonstration over the rising price of foodstuffs.

Ahmed Rabie, an SPA leader, said "the decision actually came as a surprise" to the opposition and warned that the military is likely making "an attempt to retract what had already been agreed upon".

Tensions soared after Monday's shootings, which came a day after protesters blocked a key avenue in Khartoum, an action which the generals said was "totally unacceptable".

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