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Sudan’s military council calls for resumption of discussions on power transfer

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A meeting of TMC and FFC on the sovereign council on 19 May 2019 (ST photo)

June 13, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - A spokesman for the Transitional Military Council (TMC) said that they called for the resumption of negotiations with the opposition Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) within 24 hours, as he admitted for the first time that they ordered to disperse the sit-in on June 3.

Pointing to the confidence-building measures made by the two sides, the Council’s Spokesperson Shams al-Din Kabbashi told a press conference on Thursday night that the TMC considers that the minimum-needed conducive environment for the resumption of negotiations has been created.

He further pointed to the release of detainees and the suspension of the general strike upon the request of the Ethiopian mediator.

"We see there should be a call for negotiation within 24 hours," further said Kabbashi who is also the head of TMC political committee.

He further pointed out that the Ethiopian mediator, transferred to them of a proposal by the opposition to transfer the talks to Addis Ababa, but they rejected it.

"There is no reason for us to go to Addis and we can negotiate the remaining 5% of the agreement in Khartoum," he said before to add, "We have just told him to call for a resumption to negotiations within 24 hours as we wait for the answer from the mediator tomorrow afternoon."

The military official further sent an implicit threat to the opposition when he said that the FFC have to take into account that there are other political forces they should not neglect and that the FFC do not represent the entire Sudanese people.

TROOPS REDEPLOYMENT & INTERNET BLACKOUT

On Wednesday, a spokesperson for the opposition alliance announced their refusal to hold direct talks with the military council and reiterating their demand for the withdrawal of security forces from the streets of Khartoum and the lift of Internet blackout.

However, Khabbashi rejected the two demands stressing that the military council will not allow anyone to interfere in security issues, including military redeployment, given the current exceptional circumstances that necessitate such movements according to security estimates.

"The freedom and change forces are not entitled are not entitled to discuss this matter," adding the military alone can decide on the security issues.

He further used the same argument to reject calls to lift internet blackout pointing that it represents a security threat for the country for the time being.

"We will not allow ending internet shutdown unless we believe it does not affect security," he stressed.

(ST)

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