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Attacks on protesters carried out by infiltrators: TMC tells ambassadors

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Sudan's TMC meeting with Western diplomats in Khartoum on 16 May 2019 (SUNA photo)
May 16, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The Transitional Military Council (TMC) told Western ambassadors in Sudan that the attacks on civilians at the protest sites were carried out by "groups not belonging to the regular forces."

According to the Sudanese Foreign Ministry, the Council’s spokesperson, Lt- Gen Shams al-Din Kabbashi and the Chairman of the TMC Security Committee, Mustafa Mohamed Mustafa met Thursday with ambassadors of the European Union, the United States and Canada and the United Nations Resident Representative in Khartoum.

The director of the Department of European and American Affairs in the ministry Siddiq Mohamed Abdallah said in a press statement that the head of the security committee briefed the Western diplomats on the circumstances surrounding the events on Monday and Wednesday and pointed out that it was "caused by groups not belonging to the regular forces."

The military council said it formed an investigation committee to identify the assailants.

At least eight people were killed and more than 100 injured on Monday when protesters were shot directly by regular forces trying to remove roadblocks set up by the sit-inners on the road.

Witnesses confirmed that the assailants were using SUVs and wearing the uniforms of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), but the militia leader denied the charge.

The assaults were repeated on Wednesday when at least 14 of the demonstrators were attacked by regular troops who attempted to remove the barricades. Also, witnesses said they belong to the RSF militiamen.

According to the Sudanese diplomat, the ambassadors posed some questions in this regard and were answered.

He explained that al-Kabbashi who is also a member of the TMC political committee briefed the ambassadors about the political developments in the country.

He spoke about the outcome of negotiations between the transitional military council and the forces of the Declaration of Freedom and Change and the reasons that led to the suspension of negotiations between them in order to create the needed conditions for reaching a settlement on the issues for negotiation, as he said.

On Wednesday chairman decided to suspend the talks for three days saying they would resume discussions only when the barricades are removed.

In a related development, the British Ambassador to Sudan Ifran Siddiq said he met with TMC on Thursday for their explanation of the suspension of talks.

The "TMC claims environment not conducive given escalation: expansion of roadblocks, blocking of the railway line, worsening security and hostile statements from FFC (Forces for Freedom and Change)," Siddiq said in a tweet posted on Thursday.

The British diplomat added he urged the TMC to resume talks as soon as possible.

"Progress made was significant and it seemed strange to suspend (talks) at this point and risk losing all gains made. Delay also creates a vacuum that could lead to further instability," he stressed.

(ST)

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