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Sudanese opposition suspends talks with military council, calls for general strike

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June 3, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The opposition alliance Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) decided the suspension of negotiations with the Transitional Military Council in Sudan and announced the start of a political strike and mass disobedience campaign after the bloody attack on the site of the protest on Monday.

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Sudanese forces are deployed around Khartoum’s army headquarters on 3 June 2019 as they try to disperse Khartoum’s sit-in. (AFP Photo)

In the first hours of Monday morning, the militiamen Rapid Support Forces stormed the site of protest outside the army headquarters and opened fire on the protesters killing 13 people and wounded hundreds of protesters, many by live ammunition.

The FFC said in a statement released after the attack, the Transition Military bears full responsibility for these events, which extended to other cities.

"We confirm that in the protest site there are only the bodies of our martyrs that we have not been able to evacuate from the sit-in area," said the statement.

The opposition alliance further said they decided to stop all political contacts with the military junta and suspend the negotiations stressing the generals "are no longer fit to negotiate with the Sudanese people."

"The leaders and members of this Council bear criminal responsibility for the blood that has been shed since April 11, 2019. We will work to bring them to fair trials before fair and impartial justice in the victorious Sudanese revolution."

The opposition announced an open-ended general strike and the complete and full civil disobedience from Monday, June 3, 2019, until the overthrow of the regime.

Pictures released by activists show hundreds of white Toyota vehicles carrying men wearing RSF and police uniforms storming the sit-in in the morning and dispersing the protesters with gunfire and sticks.

The TMC spokesman Shams al-Din al-Kabbashi said in a statement released in the afternoon said the attack was not planned but decided by the force officers who were hunting criminal and uncontrollable element in the area nearby the protest site.

He said that when a large number of the escapees entered in the sit-in area, "the field commanders decided, according to their assessment of the situation, to pursue them, resulting in losses and injuries".

"The Transitional Military Council expresses its regret over the development of the situation in this way and affirms its full commitment to the security of the homeland and the safety of the citizens,’’ he further said.

However, the RSF cleared the area mentioned in the statement two days ago with the approval of the FFC groups.

Eyewitnesses say the militiamen, before the attack, stationed not far from the sit-in area waiting for the dawn, where many protesters return to their home.

The TMC deputy head Mohamed Hamdan Daglo (Hemetti) two days ago vowed to not hand over power to a civilian government because they are not serious enough to protect the country

"We want to quell the current chaos and establish a state of law, but with this chaos, the situation will turn into a state of chaos," he said on the first of June when he was addressing a group of tribal leaders.

The African Union’s Peace and Security Council has given a two-month delay to the military council to hand over power to a civilian-led authority. It will expire on 30 June 2019.

(ST)

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