Talks in Sudan restart

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Sudan’s ruling military council restarted talks on Sunday with an alliance of protest and opposition groups pushing for a civilian-led transition to democracy.

Both sides signalled they are close to an agreement over a three-year transition, but more than six hours of overnight talks at the Khartoum presidential palace failed to produce a breakthrough.

The negotiations are due to resume on Monday.

The Transitional Military Council (TMC) suspended talks last Wednesday after outbreaks of violence at protest sites in Khartoum.

Street protests and a sit-in outside the Defence Ministry continue since the army ousted and arrested former President Omar al-Bashir on April 11.

Demonstrators want a rapid transition to civilian rule and demand justice over the deaths of dozens killed since protests triggered by an economic crisis and decades of repressive rule spread across Sudan from December 19.

The TMC and the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF) agreed on a three-year transition before elections, but deadlocked over whether civilians or the military would control a sovereign council with ultimate power.

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 increase pressure on the council by expanding protests.

It holds the TMC responsible for street violence in which several protesters were killed and dozens wounded.

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