Ethiopian Mediator Appeal Military, Opposition Alliance To Hold Direct Talks

Mahmud Dirir, Ethiopia’s mediator in the Sudan crisis, on Wednesday made an appeal to the military rulers and the opposition coalition to hold direct talks to strike a deal on power transfer to civilians, reported Reuters.

The Transitional Military Council (TMC) has been in the power since President Omar al-Bashir was ousted in April after months of demonstrations against his three decades in office.

Dirir said the TMC and the Forces of Freedom and Change opposition coalition have agreed on the joint proposal presented by the Ethiopian and African Union mediators to solve the crisis. But the two sides still disagree over the structure of a sovereign council meant to lead the country during the transitional period.

He added that time and place for the meeting between military rules and opposition leaders are set but will not be disclosed for security reasons, and both sides have already received invitations.

During a press conference, Mohamed El Hacen Lebatt, the African Union mediator to Sudan, said the military and protest body are very close to reaching an agreement, but there’s still one issue that needs attention.

“The two sides are just around the corner to reach an agreement but one issue remains disagreeable,” Lebatt said. “We call the two parties to reach a compromise on this remaining issue.”

After Bashir’s exit, the opposition groups continued with the protests as they demanded the military to relinquish power, but talks collapsed after the security forces raided a sit-in protest camp outside the defense ministry on June 3. A doctors’ group linked to the opposition claimed over 100 people were killed in the raid and ensuing crackdown.

On last Sunday, the opposition alliance organized mass protests in which tens of thousands of people took to the streets. Nine people were killed and some 200 were injured during Sunday’s protests, it said. The alliance has also called out for another mass protest on July 13 and a day of civil disobedience on July 14.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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