Sudan opposition on transitional council membership

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Sudan’s opposition plans to nominate eight members of a transitional council and name a prominent economist to head a government, a leader in the alliance of protesters and opposition groups said.

The plan, which appears to build on a proposal by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed presented during a mediation visit to Khartoum last week, could break a deadlock between the country’s military rulers and the civilian opposition in efforts to agree on a transition to democracy.

Abiy visited Khartoum on a mediation mission and proposed a 15-member transitional council of eight civilians and seven army officers to lead the country to democracy.

Tensions soared in Sudan since security forces violently broke up a protest camp in central Khartoum a week ago, killing dozens of protesters. The opposition responded by declaring civil disobedience that curtailed life in the capital.

An opposition leader said the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF) alliance planned to nominate Abdullah Hamdouk, a former executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, as new prime minister.

“This is in addition to eight members of the sovereign council, including three women,” the source, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.

Opposition sources said an Abiy aide was shuttling between the two sides to broker a deal after his one-day visit to Khartoum.

Abiy said on Twitter he spoke to the head of the military council, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, about “mediation progress”.

The military council, in what could be a gesture to the protesters, announced several government troops were arrested pending legal action, after a preliminary investigation into the dispersal of the protesters last week found evidence of wrongdoing.

In Washington, the State Department said top US diplomat for Africa Tibor Nagy was due to travel to Sudan to push for resumption of talks on democratic transition.