Sudan News & Discussions

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Sudan charges Bashir with involvement in killing of protesters: public prosecutor
May 13, 2019

(Reuters) - Sudan charged ousted president Omar al-Bashir and others with incitement and involvement in the killing of protesters, the public prosecutor said in a statement on Monday.

Earlier this month, the public prosecutor ordered Bashir to be interrogated on charges of money laundering and financing terrorism.
There has been no comment from Bashir since his ousting and arrest on April 11.


 

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Sudan protest leaders announce accord with army on transitional authority
AFP

May 13, 2019
The announcement comes after prosecutors charged deposed leader Omar Al Bashir with killing protesters

In this July 9, 2018, file photo, Sudan's former president Omar Al Bashir attends a ceremony for Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara. AP
In this July 9, 2018, file photo, Sudan's former president Omar Al Bashir attends a ceremony for Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara. AP

Sudan's protest leaders said on Monday they have reached a breakthrough agreement with the country's military rulers on transitional authorities to run the country.

The news came shortly after the prosecutor general's office said deposed president Omar Al Bashir had been charged over the killings of protesters during anti-regime demonstrations that led to the end of his rule.

"At today's meeting we agreed on the structure of the authorities and their powers," Taha Osman, a spokesman for the protest movement, told AFP.

"The authorities are as follows – the sovereign council, the cabinet and the legislative body," he said.

Mr Osman said another meeting would be held on Tuesday "to discuss the period of transition and the composition of the authorities".

The crucial talks between Sudan's army rulers and protest leaders over handing power to a civilian administration follow a deadlock in negotiations.

The apparent breakthrough came as Sudan's acting prosecutor general Al Waleed Sayyed Ahmed said Bashir "and others have been charged for inciting and participating in the killing of demonstrators".

The charges form part of an investigation into the death of a medic killed during a protest in the capital's eastern district of Burri, his office said in a statement.

Ninety protesters were killed in protest-related violence after demonstrations erupted in December over a government decision to triple the price of bread, a doctors' committee linked to the protest movement said last month.

The official death toll is 65.

Mass protests which drove longtime leader Bashir from office on April 11 are still being held outside the army headquarters in central Khartoum, vowing to force the ruling council to cede power.

Protest leaders Omar Al Digeir and Satea Al Haj were among those who attended the talks on Monday on behalf of the Alliance for Freedom and Change, a spokeswoman for the umbrella group, Mashar Darraj, told AFP.

The meeting was held behind closed doors at a convention centre in central Khartoum.

Prior to the meeting, dozens of protesters blocked Nile Street, a major avenue in the city, for the second consecutive day, an AFP correspondent reported.

Pressing their demand for a handover to civilian rule, protesters also blocked a road leading to the capital's northern district of Bahari.

A protester was wounded by live ammunition in Bahari, according to witnesses.

On Sunday, protesters blocked Nile Street after police stopped them from going from that road to the sit-in outside the army complex that has been staged since April 6.

Following a deadlock in negotiations, the protest alliance on Saturday said the army generals had invited the movement for a new round of talks.

The generals in earlier talks had proposed the new council be led by the military, while the protest leaders want a majority civilian body.

Late last month, the alliance – which brings together protest organisers, opposition parties and rebel groups – handed the generals its proposals for a civilian-led transitional government.

But the generals pointed to what they call "many reservations" over the alliance's roadmap.

They have singled out its silence on the constitutional position of Islamic sharia law, which was the guiding principle of all legislation under Bashir's rule.

Demonstrators converged on the military complex last month seeking the army's help in ousting Bashir.

Days later the army ousted the veteran leader, but a 10-member military council took power and demonstrators have kept up their sit-in against the generals.

Although crowds have dwindled during the day due to the scorching heat, protesters gather in their thousands after breaking the daytime fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.


 

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Four killed in Sudan protests, military rulers say they will not allow chaos
May 14, 2019

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan’s ruling military council warned that it would not allow “chaos” after four people were killed in violence that broke out over an agreement on a political transition reached by the generals and protest groups.

Heavy gunfire was heard in the capital into Monday night but it was not clear who triggered the violence.

One policeman and three protesters were killed in Khartoum and many other demonstrators were wounded, state TV said.

The Transitional Military Council (TMC), which took over after the army overthrew long-ruling President Omar al-Bashir

last month, blamed the violence on saboteurs who were unhappy with the transition deal.

“Behind this are groups that...are working hard to abort any progress in negotiations.”

TMC said it would not allow citizens’ safety to be jeopardized.

“Neither the (paramilitary) Rapid Support Forces or the army will fire one shot at our protesting brothers, but we repeat: we do not allow chaos,” it said.

Protesters said counter-revolutionaries linked to Bashir

incited Monday’s violence. The deaths were the first linked to protests in Khartoum in several weeks.

A hospital in Khartoum said it received more than 60 wounded from Monday’s violence and three dead bodies. A number of people arrived with gunshot wounds in the shoulder, the chest and other body parts, said Amar Abu Bakr, executive director of the Moalem Medical City Hospital.

“There are also a number of wounds resulting from sharp objects, and others from beatings by sticks,” he said.

One wounded patient said a shooter was about 20 meters away when he took aim at him.

“He saw me, and he meant to shoot me,” said Raed Mubarak, a protester. “He did not even shoot at my leg or up in the air. He shot at my chest...he meant to kill me, not to scare or terrorize.”

The military council and the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces opposition alliance said on Monday they had agreed to a power structure for the transition following Bashir’s removal and arrest.

Both said they had agreed on the duties and authorities of sovereign, executive and legislative bodies.

Talks were due to resume on Tuesday to discuss two sticking points: the military-civilian balance of power in transitional bodies, and the length of the transition before elections.

Protesters are pushing for a swift handover of power to civilians and have kept up demonstrations since Bashir’s departure, including a more than month-long sit-in outside the Defence Ministry.

Reporting by Nadine Awadalla in Khartoum and Ali Abdelaty in Cairo; Writing by Lena Masri; editing by John Stonestreet


 

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Brother of Sudan’s Bashir not in detention: army
14 May 2019
AFP
  • Bashir himself is being held in Khartoum’s Kober prison, according to the council
KHARTOUM: Sudan’s ruling military council said Tuesday that a brother of ousted president Omar Al-Bashir who it previously announced had been detained was actually not in custody.

On April 17, the military council had announced that it had detained two of Bashir’s five brothers — Abdallah Hassan Al-Bashir and Al-Abbas Hassan Al-Bashir.

“This statement was not accurate,” military council spokesman Lt. Gen. Shamseddine Kabbashi told reporters early on Tuesday.

He said on April 17 Abdallah had been arrested, and the next day Abbas was seen in an area bordering with a neighboring country.
“Sudanese authorities have been in contact with this country but it has refused to hand him over to us,” he said without naming the country.

“Then news came that he is in Turkey,” Kabbashi said without specifying whether he was referring to recent media reports of Abbas being in Turkey.
Bashir himself is being held in Khartoum’s Kober prison, according to the council.

On Monday, Sudan’s prosecutor general’s office said Bashir had been charged over the killings of protesters during anti-regime protests that led to his ouster on April 11.

The charges form part of an investigation into the death of a medic killed during a protest in the capital’s eastern district of Burri, the prosecutor general’s office said in a statement.

Ninety people were killed in protest-related violence after demonstrations initially erupted in December, a doctors’ committee linked to the protest movement said last month.

The official death toll is 65.

On Monday, five protesters and an army major were shot dead in Khartoum, according to the committee, just hours after protest leaders and the ruling generals reached a breakthrough agreement on transitional authorities to run the country.

The army rulers who took power after Bashir’s ouster and protest leaders are engaged in negotiations over handing of power from the generals to a civilian administration.

 

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‘Infiltrators’ suspected behind shooting dead of 5 protesters, army officer in Sudan
Updated 14 May 2019
Arab News
May 13, 2019
  • Military council says "unidentified infiltrators" could be behind the attacks to provoke violence
  • Sudan charged ousted president Omar Al-Bashir and others with incitement and involvement in the killing of protesters
KHARTOUM: Six people, including an army major, were killed and large number of protesters wounded in clashes in Khartoum late on Monday, Arab media reported.

The violence erupted hours after protest leaders and the ruling generals reached a breakthrough agreement on transitional authorities to run the country.

Officials and protest leaders said the officer and a protester were killed at a sit-in outside the army headquarters in Khartoum where thousands of protesters remain camped for weeks, demanding that the army generals who took power after ousting Bashir step down.

Three soldiers and several protesters and civilians were also wounded when “unidentified elements” fired shots at the Khartoum sit-in, the ruling military council said.

The latest developments came as the prosecutor general’s office said ousted president Omar Al-Bashir had been charged over the killings of protesters during anti-regime demonstrations that led to the end of his rule last month.

A doctors’ committee linked to the protest movement later said four more protesters had been shot dead, but did not specify if they were actually killed at the sit-in.

The military council said in a late night press conference that it had “noticed some armed infiltrators among the protesters.”

The umbrella protest movement the Alliance for Freedom and Change said Monday’s violence was to “disturb the breakthrough in the negotiations” with army generals as it blamed the bloodshed on the former regime’s militias.

Earlier on Monday, the generals and the protest movement said a breakthrough had been reached in their talks over handing of power to a civilian administration.

“At today’s meeting we agreed on the structure of the authorities and their powers,” Taha Osman, a spokesman for the protest movement, told AFP.

“The authorities are as follows — the sovereign council, the cabinet and the legislative body,” he said.

Osman said another meeting would be held on Tuesday “to discuss the period of transition and the composition of the authorities.”

Transition period
The military council confirmed an accord had been reached.

“We agreed on forming the transitional authority on all three levels — the sovereign, the executive and the legislative,” council spokesman Lt. Gen. Shamseddine Kabbashi told reporters.

“Tomorrow we will continue to discuss the percentage of participation... and the transitional period.”

The generals insist the transitional period should be two years, while protesters want it to be four years.

The crucial talks between the two sides follow a deadlock in negotiations.

The apparent breakthrough came as Sudan’s acting prosecutor general Al-Waleed Sayyed Ahmed said Bashir “and others have been charged for inciting and participating in the killing of demonstrators.”

The charges form part of an investigation into the death of a medic killed during a protest in the capital’s eastern district of Burri, his office said in a statement.
Ninety people were killed in protest-related violence after demonstrations initially erupted in December, the doctors’ committee said last month.

The official death toll is 65.

Mass protests which drove Bashir from office on April 11 are still being held outside the army headquarters, vowing to force the military council to cede power.

Prior to Monday’s talks, dozens of protesters blocked Nile Street, a major avenue in the city, for the second consecutive day, an AFP correspondent reported.

Pressing their demand for a handover to civilian rule, protesters also blocked a road leading to the capital’s northern district of Bahari.

Three protesters were wounded by “live ammunition” when security personnel tried to dismantle blockades put by demonstrators in parts of the capital, the doctors’ committee said.

“We reject using force against the civilians ... we are calling on the military council to take its responsibility in protecting the peaceful protesters,” the Alliance for Freedom and Change said.

New round of talks
Following a deadlock in negotiations, the protest alliance on Saturday said the army generals had invited the movement for a new round of talks.

The generals in earlier talks had proposed the new council be led by the military, while the protest leaders want a majority civilian body.

Late last month, the alliance — which brings together protest organizers, opposition parties and rebel groups — handed the generals its proposals for a civilian-led transitional government.

But the generals pointed to what they call “many reservations” over the alliance’s roadmap.

They have singled out its silence on the constitutional position of Islamic sharia law, which was the guiding principle of all legislation under Bashir’s rule.

Demonstrators converged on the military complex last month seeking the army’s help in ousting Bashir.

Days later the army ousted the veteran leader, but a 10-member military council took power and demonstrators have kept up their sit-in against the generals.

Although crowds have dwindled during the day due to the scorching heat, protesters gather in their thousands after breaking the daytime fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

(With AFP)



 

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Violence overshadows Sudan's transition push
May 14, 2019
Nadine Awadalla

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan’s opposition alliance blamed military rulers on Tuesday for renewed street violence complicating efforts to negotiate a handover to civilian power after last month’s overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir.


At least four people died and dozens were injured during protests on Monday as the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and opposition Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF) said they had reached a partial agreement for transition.

Gunfire rang out in the capital into the night after paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) - whose head is deputy of the military council - had patrolled the streets using tear gas and guns to disrupt demonstrations.

The protesters, who want to keep pressure on the military for a swift handover, were back on Tuesday, blocking roads and bridges with bricks and rocks, images on social media showed.

“The bullets that were fired yesterday were Rapid Support Forces bullets and we hold the military council responsible for what happened yesterday,” Khalid Omar Youssef, a senior figure in the DFCF, told a news conference.


“While they claimed that a third party was the one who did so, eyewitnesses confirmed that the party was in armed forces vehicles and in armed forces uniforms, so the military council must reveal this party.”

“HE MEANT TO KILL ME”
Monday’s fatalities were the first in protests for several weeks after months of demonstrations led to Bashir’s fall.

The victims included a military police officer and three demonstrators, state TV said. An opposition-linked doctors’ committee revised its death toll from six to four, citing a mix-up in counting the bodies of victims.

The TMC, which took over after ousting the long-ruling Bashir last month, blamed the violence on saboteurs unhappy with the transition accord.

“There are groups ambushing the revolution who were disturbed by the results reached today and are working to abort any agreement,” it said in a statement late on Monday.

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

Talks would wrap up on Wednesday, Youssef said.

The United States backed the opposition alliance in pinning the blame for Monday’s chaos on the military for trying to remove roadblocks set up by protesters.

“The decision by security forces to escalate the use of force, including the unnecessary use of tear gas, led directly to the unacceptable violence later in the day that the TMC was unable to control,” said the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum.

One hospital in Khartoum said it received more than 60 wounded on Monday as well as three dead bodies.

Some arrived with gunshot wounds in the shoulder, chest and other body parts, Amar Abu Bakr, executive director of the Moalem Medical City Hospital, told Reuters.

“There are also a number of wounds resulting from sharp objects, and others from beatings by sticks.”

Raed Mubarak, a protester who was wounded, said a shooter was about 20 meters (22 yards) away when he took aim. “He shot at my chest ... he meant to kill me, not to scare or terrorize,” he said.

Reporting by Nadine Awadalla in Khartoum; Additional reporting by Eltayeb Siddig in Khartoum, and Omar Fahmy, Nayera Abdallah and Ali Abdelaty in Cairo; Writing by Yousef Saba and Lena Masri; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne/Mark Heinrich

 

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Sudan committee to investigate targeting of protesters: military council
May 15, 2019

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan’s Transitional Military Council formed a joint committee with the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces opposition alliance to investigate the targeting of protesters, DFCF member Madani Abbas Madani said on Wednesday at a joint news conference with the TMC.

At least four people died and dozens were injured during protests on Monday as the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and opposition Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF) said they had reached a partial agreement for transition.

Reporting by Nadine Awadalla in Khartoum and Mohamed Elsherif in Cairo; Writng by Yousef Saba; Editing by Phil Berlowitz



 

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Sudan military council, opposition inch closer to final deal
May 15, 2019
Nadine Awadalla

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the opposition Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF) agreed the country’s transition period would last for three years, a TMC member said on Wednesday, adding a final deal on the transition would be reached within 24 hours.

Lieutenant General Yasser al-Atta also said DFCF will have two-thirds of the seats on a transitional legislative council and parties that are not part of the alliance will take the rest.

Satea al-Hajj, a DFCF member, said: “the viewpoints are close and, God willing, we will reach an agreement soon” on the composition of a new sovereign council that would lead the country until elections.

The TMC had said the transition would last a maximum of two years, and the DFCF wanted it to last four years.

Sudan’s opposition alliance had blamed the military rulers on Tuesday for renewed street violence complicating efforts to negotiate a handover of power to civilians after last month’s overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir.

But Madani Abbas Madani, another DFCF figure, said on Wednesday that it was “abundantly clear that there are counter-revolutionary forces who are naturally displeased with any progress in negotiations”.

At least four people died and dozens were injured during protests on Monday as the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and opposition Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF) said they had reached a partial agreement for transition.

Madani, speaking to a news conference alongside Atta past midnight, said the TMC had formed a committee to investigate the targeting of protesters. He also said a joint committee was set up with DFCF to thwart any attempt to break up a sit-in at the Defense Ministry.

Gunfire rang out in the capital into the night on Monday after paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) - whose head is deputy of the military council - had patrolled the streets using tear gas and guns to disrupt demonstrations.

The protesters, who want to keep pressure on the military for a swift handover, were back on Tuesday, blocking roads and bridges with bricks and rocks, images on social media showed.

Demonstrators have been camped at a sit-in outside the Defense Ministry since April 6. On Tuesday, the sit-in area and eastern Khartoum were blocked off from the capital’s center by barriers that the protesters have erected.

“The bullets that were fired yesterday were Rapid Support Forces bullets and we hold the military council responsible for what happened yesterday,” Khalid Omar Youssef, a senior figure in the DFCF, told a news conference on Tuesday.

“While they claimed that a third party was the one who did so, eyewitnesses confirmed that the party was in armed forces vehicles and in armed forces uniforms, so the military council must reveal this party.”

‘HE MEANT TO KILL ME’
Monday’s fatalities were the first in protests for several weeks after months of demonstrations led to Bashir’s fall.

The victims included a military police officer and three demonstrators, state TV said.

The TMC, which took over after ousting the long-ruling Bashir last month, blamed the violence on saboteurs unhappy with the transition accord.

The United States backed the opposition alliance in pinning the blame for Monday’s chaos on the military for trying to remove roadblocks set up by protesters.

“The decision by security forces to escalate the use of force, including the unnecessary use of tear gas, led directly to the unacceptable violence later in the day that the TMC was unable to control,” said the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum.

One hospital in Khartoum said it received more than 60 wounded on Monday as well as three dead bodies.

Some arrived with gunshot wounds in the shoulder, chest and other body parts, Amar Abu Bakr, executive director of the Moalem Medical City Hospital, told Reuters.

“There are also a number of wounds resulting from sharp objects, and others from beatings by sticks.”

Raed Mubarak, a protester who was wounded, said a shooter was about 20 meters (22 yards) away when he took aim. “He shot at my chest ... he meant to kill me, not to scare or terrorize,” he said.

Reporting by Nadine Awadalla in Khartoum; Additional reporting by Eltayeb Siddig in Khartoum, and Omar Fahmy, Nayera Abdallah, Mohamed Elsherif and Ali Abdelaty in Cairo; writing by Yousef Saba and Lena Masri; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne, Mark Heinrich and Grant McCool

 

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Long Customer Queues Form in Sudan as Liquidity Crunch Worsens
14 May, 2019 -
Khartoum – Yazel Babkir

Anti-government protests in Khartoum, Sudan December 25, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/File Photo


At a time Sudan’s future remains clouded with rapid political development, economic suffering and a liquidity squeeze returned to the scene with long ques building up in front of banks, bakeries and gas stations.

Visiting neighborhoods in Khartoum’s Omdurman city, an Asharq Al-Awsat correspondent discovered that people were rushing to stock on living essentials and cash.

Local banks, suffering from a cash crunch, are sticking to around a $40 withdrawal daily limit per person.

For traders, matters have been getting increasingly worse, with banks putting chequebooks and money transfers between local commercial banks on ice.

Referring to political instability, Khartoum-based financial consultant Hisham Alhaj said that the economic performance is directly linked to state institutions.

“Economic recession has not only affected the state, but also public and private sector workers,” Alhaj noted.

It is worth noting that the liquidity squeeze ailing the African state for over a year now is caused by a great drop in consumer confidence, especially in the country’s banking sector.

Well-off companies and individuals, fearful of poor management, corruption and bankruptcy, have chosen to hoard banknotes and not deal with Sudanese banks.


 

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Sudanese forces clear protesters with gunfire, transition talks suspended indefinitely
15 May 2019
Nadine Awadalla


KHARTOUM (Reuters) - 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 aimed at establishing a body to lead Sudan to democracy have been suspended indefinitely.

A spokesman for the Sudanese Professionals’ Association (SPA), which spearheaded months of protests that led to the military’s removal of President Omar al-Bashir last month, said: “We hold the military council responsible for attacking civilians”.

“They are using the same methods as the previous regime in dealing with rebels,” SPA spokesman Amjad Farid told Reuters.

There was no immediate comment from the military on Wednesday’s violence or an SPA statement that nine people were wounded.

A spokesman for the Sudanese Professionals’ Association (SPA), which spearheaded months of protests that led to the military’s removal of President Omar al-Bashir last month, said: “We hold the military council responsible for attacking civilians”.

“They are using the same methods as the previous regime in dealing with rebels,” SPA spokesman Amjad Farid told Reuters.

There was no immediate comment from the military on Wednesday’s violence or an SPA statement that nine people were wounded.

The Transitional Military Council (TMC), which took over after overthrowing and jailing Bashir, has said it would not tolerate the continued closure of main Khartoum roads and bridges by protesters but promised not to use force to disperse the sit-ins.

The TMC has accused demonstrators of expanding a protest site set up last month outside the Defence Ministry to other parts of the capital, disrupting movement.

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.

Weeks of street protests that precipitated the end of Bashir’s 30-year rule on April 11 have continued as the opposition demands that the military hand over power to civilians.

A Reuters witness and Sudanese witnesses said that troops in military vehicles using the logo of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) fired extensively as they tried to clear demonstrators on al-Mek Nimir Avenue in central Khartoum, near the Foreign Ministry.

“People were walking toward the barricades and they (security forces) were firing shots at them,” a 20-year-old demonstrator, who asked not to be named, said, showing a handful of empty bullet casings and referring to road blocks set up by protesters.

The violence took place hours before the TMC was due to meet representatives of the umbrella opposition group Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF) to try to hammer out a final deal for the transitional period.

But a senior DFCF leader said the TMC has indefinitely suspended the talks. “No date has been set for the talks to resume,” the source told Reuters.

CAUTION
The two sides, which have held talks for several weeks, announced early on Wednesday they had agreed on the composition of a legislative council and the duration of the transition.

Some demonstrators expressed caution over the prospects for an agreement that would satisfy their demands for a handover of power to civilians, and for security forces to be held to account for the deaths of demonstrators.

“We are still sticking to our plan,” said Altaj Blah, a protester in central Khartoum. “The barriers are there and they are not moving until our demands are met,” he said.

In the agreement announced early on Wednesday the two sides said the transition would last three years - a compromise between the military council’s proposal of two years and the opposition DFCF’s preference for four.

The TMC said the DFCF would have two-thirds of the seats on a transitional legislative council while parties outside the alliance would take the rest. Elections would be held at the end of the three-year transition.

On Monday after security forces tried to clear some protest sites, at least four people, including three protesters and a military police officer, were killed in an outburst of violence. They were the first deaths linked to the protests for several weeks.

DFCF members blamed security and paramilitary forces, while also voicing suspicions that groups linked to Bashir might be fomenting unrest to undermine the chances of a political accord.

Reporting by Nadine Awadalla; Additional reporting by Khaled Abdelaziz and Eltayeb Siddig; Writing by Aidan Lewis and Sami Aboudi; Editing by Yousef Saba, Frances Kerry and Grant McCool


 

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Sudan Opposition, Military Council to Resume Talks Sunday
Saturday, 18 May, 2019


A Sudanese protester holds the national flag with writings reading in Arabic ‘Civilian Only’ during a rally outside the army headquarters in Khartoum on May 2. (AFP)

Asharq Al-Awsat

The Sudanese ruling military council and opposition leaders will resume talks on Sunday after a three-day pause.

The resumption of talks with the Alliance for Freedom and Change, the umbrella protest movement that brought down longtime leader Omar al-Bashir last month, comes following pressure from key world powers to get back to the table.

Talks were expected to focus on the makeup of the sovereign council that is to guide Sudan through the transition, and the role the military would have in that council.

The negotiations were suspended Wednesday just hours after both the military council and the protesters announced they had agreed on the make-up of an interim parliament and a Cabinet for the transitional period, which is to last three years.

The generals and protest leaders had been expected to come to an agreement on the thorniest issue -- the make-up of a new body to govern Sudan for three years that would replace the existing military council that took power after ousting Bashir.

But that meeting never took place and on Thursday the head of the military council, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, confirmed talks were suspended for 72 hours.

Demonstrators subsequently spent hours meeting Burhan's demand to dismantle roadblocks which had paralyzed parts of the capital.

World powers on Friday urged the generals to resume the talks.

Representatives from the United States, the United Nation, African Union and European powers called on both sides to "reach an agreement ASAP on an interim government that is truly civilian-led and reflects the will of the Sudanese people," Tibor Nagy, the US assistant secretary of state for Africa, tweeted on Friday.

The generals have allowed protesters to maintain their sit-in outside Khartoum's army headquarters, where thousands remain camped out to demand a rapid transition to democracy.

 

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Sudan: Inflation Drops to 44.56% in April
18 May, 2019


Customers look on as a vendor displays fresh produce in Khartoum, Sudan December 2, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

Khartoum- Seifyazal Babekir

Sudan’s inflation dropped slightly in Sudan during last month, although April precedes the Ramadan season known for the high demand for food commodities.

However, observers see that the liquidity crisis limits demand opportunities. The inflation in April dropped to 44.56 percent compared to 45.50 percent in March.

The Central Bureau of Statistics expected a decline in inflation in April but the increase in prices during Ramadan prevented these forecasts. The increases exceeded 100 percent compared to prices of the year before.

Some wholesale merchants told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the current increases in prices were unjustified. The traders, at a market in Omdurman market in Khartoum, said that the demand for diverse goods usually increase during Ramadan but sales are weak in the current time.

The merchants complained about the low demand and weak purchasing power among the majority of the Sudanese community due to pressuring economic conditions.

Economist Hisham Mohammad Issa told Asharq Al-Awsat that the fact that the Sudanese authorities are not controlling the huge increases in prices of basic commodities has aggravated the situation.

Activists in civil society organizations and associations to protect the Sudanese consumers warned of the current situation, describing it as one of the toughest crises in modern history. They also warned of the deterioration of the living conditions of most low-income consumers, expressing concerns about social and political consequences.


 

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Saudi Arabia Deposits $250 Million Into Sudan's Central Bank
Sunday, 19 May, 2019


Sudanese protesters near the military headquarters in the capital Khartoum on Friday, at an ongoing sit-in aimed at pressuring the army council to hand over power to civilians | AFP

Dubai, Khartoum- Asharq Al-Awsat

Saudi Arabia said on Sunday it deposited $250 million with the Sudanese central bank, according to a statement from the kingdom's ministry of finance.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates pledged to send $3 billion worth of aid to Sudan, after mass protests led to the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir last month.

The move will strengthen Sudan's "financial position, alleviate pressure on the Sudanese pound and achieve more stability in the exchange rate,' the statement said.

In a related development, Sudanese protest leaders said Sunday they will insist a civilian runs a planned new governing body in new talks with army rulers, as Islamists warn against excluding sharia from the political roadmap.

The Alliance for Freedom and Change is determined that the country's new ruling body be "led by a civilian as its chairman and with a limited military representation", it said in a statement.

The protesters' umbrella group said talks would resume with the military council -- which has ruled Sudan since Bashir was deposed on April 11 -- at 9:00 pm (1900 GMT) on Sunday.

Talks over a transfer of power by the generals have repeatedly stalled, resulting in international pressure to return to the table after the generals suspended negotiations earlier this week.

The generals insist the new body be military-led but the protest leaders demand a majority civilian body.

On Sunday the protest movement raised the ante by insisting that the ruling body should be headed by a civilian.

The military council is headed by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the generals have previously said he would lead the new governing body.

Before talks were suspended the two sides had agreed on several key issues, including a three-year transition period and the creation of a 300-member parliament, with two-thirds of lawmakers to come from the protesters' umbrella group.

The previous round of talks was marred by violence after five protesters and an army major were shot dead near the ongoing sit-in outside the military headquarters in central Khartoum, where thousands have camped out for weeks.

Initially, the protesters gathered to demand Bashir resign -- but they have stayed put, to pressure the generals into stepping aside.

The protesters had also erected roadblocks on some avenues in Khartoum, paralyzing large parts of the capital, to put further pressure on the generals during negotiations, but the military rulers suspended the last round of talks and demanded the barriers be removed.

Protesters duly took the roadblocks down in recent days -- but they warn they will put them back up if the army fails to transfer power to a civilian administration.

The generals have allowed protesters to maintain their sit-in outside Khartoum's army headquarters.


 

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Talks on Sudan's political transition fail to produce deal for second day
May 21, 2019


KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Talks between Sudan’s ruling Transitional Military Council and an alliance of protesters and opposition groups failed for the second day in a row to produce a breakthrough on the country’s political transition, the council said early on Tuesday.

Street protests and a sit-in outside the defense ministry compound in Khartoum have not ended even after the army ousted and arrested former President Omar al-Bashir on April 11.

Demonstrators are calling for a rapid transition to civilian rule, and demanding justice over the deaths of dozens of people since protests triggered by an economic crisis and decades of repressive rule spread across Sudan starting Dec. 19.

The TMC and the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF), an umbrella body of protesters and opposition groups, have agreed on a three-year transition before elections, but have been deadlocked over whether civilians or the military would control a sovereign council that would hold ultimate power.

That remained the main point of contention during talks that started Monday evening and ended early on Tuesday without a resolution, the TMC said in a statement.

“Aware of our historical responsibility, we will work toward reaching an urgent agreement ... that meets the aspirations of the Sudanese people and the goals of the glorious December revolution,” the TMC added, without giving a date for when talks would resume.

Both sides had signaled they were close to an agreement over a three-year transition. An agreement was also expected to come out of talks that started on Sunday, but no deal was made after more than six hours of negotiations at the presidential palace in Khartoum.

The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which spearheaded protests against Bashir and heads the DFCF, has accused the TMC of dragging its feet in the talks and has sought to increase pressure on the council by expanding protests.

It also held the TMC responsible for street violence over the past week.

Late last Wednesday, the TMC suspended the talks for three days.

The council accused protesters of not respecting an understanding on de-escalation while talks were under way.

Reporting by Nadine Awadalla; Writing by Lena Masri; Editing by Chris Reese

Talks on Sudan's political transition fail to produce deal for...
 

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Sudan generals, protesters split on who will lead transition
AP
May 21, 2019

  • Demonstrators want to limit the role of the military in the transitional council
  • They are represented by the Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change during the talks
KHARTOUM: Sudan’s ruling generals and protesters behind months of mass demonstrations that drove autocrat Omar Al-Bashir from power are divided over who will lead the country during its transition period.

The issue remains a stumbling block in the negotiations between the two sides. Their latest round of talks ended early on Tuesday without agreement.

The protesters, represented by the Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change, insist on a “limited military representation” in a sovereign council that will guide Sudan through the three-year transition.

The military insists it play the lead role in the council.

The protesters fear the generals intend to hold on to power or cut a deal with other factions that would leave much of Al-Bashir’s regime intact.
Since his ouster, Al-Bashir has been jailed in Khartoum.

 

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