No progress in Sudan talks

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Talks between Sudan’s ruling Transitional Military Council and an alliance of protesters and opposition groups failed for the second day to produce a breakthrough on the country’s political transition, the council said.

Street protests and a sit-in outside the defence ministry compound in Khartoum did not end 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 demand justice for the deaths of dozens since protests triggered by an economic crisis and decades of repressive rule spread across Sudan in December.

The TMC and the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF), an umbrella body of protesters and opposition groups, agree on a three-year transition before elections, but deadlock over whether civilians or the military will control a sovereign council with ultimate power.

That remained the main point of contention during talks starting Monday and ending on Tuesday without a resolution, the TMC said in a statement.

“Aware of our historical responsibility, we will work towards 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 resumption date for talks.

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

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

It holds the TMC responsible for street violence.

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

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