Sudan’s ruling military council on Thursday suspended talks with opposition leaders on the installation of civilian rule for at least 72 hours as it demands protesters to clear roadblocks. The protest movement is demanding a civilian-led transition.
The Transitional Military Council (TMC) said in a televised statement on Wednesday that barricades outside a designated zone in Khartoum should be removed. The setback comes mere hours after the TMC and the opposition agreed a three-year transition period to civilian rule.
Soldiers even fired shots on the protesters on Wednesday as tried to clear barricades. It is reported that at least nine people were wounded, but that figure could not be verified, reported BBC.
TMC leader Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan said talks were being suspended to prepare an atmosphere for negotiating the deal. He demanded the protesters to dismantle roadblocks in Khartoum, open bridges connecting the capital and other regions and stop provoking security forces.
“We hold the military council responsible for attacking civilians,” said Amjad Farid, a spokesman for the Sudanese Professionals’ Association (SPA). “They are using the same methods as the previous regime in dealing with rebels.”
The violence took place hours before the military council was due to meet representatives of Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF) the umbrella opposition group, to hammer out the final deal.
The military and the opposition both blamed each other for Wednesday’s violence.
There were “armed elements among demonstrators who were shooting at security forces”, Gen Burhan added.
Earlier on Wednesday, the army council agreed on a deal with the DFCF alliance on the composition of a legislative council and a three-year transition period to a civilian administration. The two sides agreed that parliament will compose of 300 members for the transition, with 67 percent from the alliance and the rest drawn from other political groups.