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Sudan’s opposition suspends talks, accuse military of delaying power handover

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Spokesperson of the Freedom and Change forces addresses a press conference outside the army headquarters on 21 April 2019 (SUNA Photo)
April 23, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The Freedom and Change forces Sunday declared the suspension of talks with the transitional military council accusing it of working to delay the power transfer to civil rule and called to escalate protests.

Ten days after the removal of President Omer al-Bashir, frictions become clear between the military council and the opposition forces that led the protests against the former regime of Omer al-Bashir.

The democratic forces had reservations over the presence of some Islamist generals in the military council but kept their doubts aside but they started these days blaming them of seeking to include Islamists forces from the former regime in the new government.

In a press conference that was organized to announce their nominees for a lean government they call for, the representatives of the opposition forces denounced the intransigence of the military council to transfer power to civilians adding they do not consider seriously the handover.

"They claimed that our proposals are examined through other proposals made by other political forces," said the spokesperson who was not introduced by his name. Also, the opposition figures were not present at the press conference outside the military council but attended by thousands of protesters.

Accordingly, he said they decided to "continue the sit-in and suspension of negotiations with the Military Council and to stop dealing with them".

Further, he said they decided to "escalating mass pressure" on the military and to "deal with the junta as an extension of the regime".

The spokesperson further said they decided to form the Transitional National Authority without any military participation in the presidential council or the government cabinet and the names will be made public during the upcoming days.

Some ten minutes before, the military council spokesperson Shams al-Din Kabbashi told a separate press conference they are studying 124 proposals submitted by 314 political party and national figures for the transitional period.

He further repeated statements made by the head of the military council Abdel Fattah al-Burhan on Sunday morning saying they are keen to reconcile all the Sudanese and to not exclude anyone.

He stressed that there are many points of convergence with the political forces and they only disagree on a few points that can overcome and then declare the transitional government.

In a statement released on Sunday, the Sudanese Communist Party said the military junta emanates from the core of the former Islamist regime and accused the transitional council of working to "deviate the uprising from its goals to reproduce the former regime".

Earlier the SPLM-North deputy chairman Yasir Arman pointed out that the head of the political committee Lt. Gen. Omer Zain-al-Abdin and his deputy Lt Gen Jalal al-Sheikh are two Islamists who are working to reproduce the old regime, and called to dismiss them.

Sudanese opposition forces suspect the Islamist military of seeking to prevent the establishment of a secular state in the country.

Some observers describe the head of the military council as a weak leader, adding the council is manipulated by the Islamists.

(ST)

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