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Sudan military, political forces engage talks but armed groups reject hasty meeting

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April 14, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese opposition leaders and the head of the military council Abdel Fattah al-Burhan have begun meetings after the removal of the former President Omer al-Bashir on Saturday.

However, the armed groups of the Sudanese Revolutionary Forces said they are not concerned by the hasty meeting, pointing that it was too early hold talks with the military before to define a joint programme of the opposition groups and how to deal with the Military Council.

On Saturday, the head of the military council held a meeting with a 10-member delegation from the opposition groups led by Omer al-Digair of the Sudanese Congress Party (SCoP) and including among others Mariam al-Mahdi, Siddiq Youssef and Mohamed Nagi al-Asam.

Speaking to protesters who take part in the sit-in outside the army headquarter in Khartoum after the meeting, al-Digair, said that they agreed with al-Burhan to nominate their representative in the transitional presidential council.

"We called for the participation of civilians in the Transitional Presidential Council with the military council in addition to the civilian government and tomorrow we will submit a list of the head of the military council," he said.

Al-Digair revealed that al-Burhan reassured them that an imminent decision will be issued to repeal all laws restricting freedoms.

He further said that the meetings will continue until all the consultations to form the transitional institutions are completed.

He pointed out that they are awaiting the implementation of the promises he made to release all the detainees of Darfur armed groups and the activists who were deported from foreign countries, including Mohamed Hassan al-Bushi and all the others.

"One of the demands we have made to the military council is to restructure the security apparatus of the regime, to punish and prosecute all those involved in corruption and bloodshed," he told the protesters.

He further said the delegation of the opposition also talked about the need to expropriate the premises of the National Congress Party and to restore it to the Sudanese people.

Following the meeting the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which that took part in the meeting, issued a statement calling on the protesters to maintain pressure on the military until the implement of all the demands made by the Freedom and Change forces.

ARMED GROUPS NOT CONCERNED

The factions of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front issued a statement signed by Malik Agar and Minni Minnawi distancing themselves from the meeting and its outcome calling for a separate meeting with the Transitional Military Council.

"We participated in a meeting held yesterday (of the forces of the Freedom and Change Declaration). In our view, it is too early to hold a meeting with the Military Council," said the statement.

"It is necessary to define (before to meet the military) a package of necessary measures in the issues of freedom and peace, the dismantling of the deep state and the acknowledgement by the Military Council of the legitimacy of the revolution and the immediate commencement of transitional arrangements".

The consultations of the forces of freedom and change (also) must include all actors in the revolution, especially women and youth, stressed the statement.

In statements to Sudan Tribune, Yasir Arman, SPLM-N Agar deputy chairman, stressed that the issues of freedom, peace, justice, transitional arrangements and how to deal with the military junta need a deep dialogue among the opposition forces before to engage in talks with them.

"We will not allow anyone to represent us before agreeing on talks and duties and how to represent and how to deal with the military council before giving it legitimacy," stressed Arman.

He, however, reiterated their commitment to the Freedom and Change Declaration adding: "We need to reach a deep understanding on this issue so that we act as one front and we are an integral part of the forces of Freedom And Change," Arman said.

Osman Mirghani, Editor in Chief of Al-Tayyar newspaper also blamed the opposition for meeting the military council to discuss with the expropriation of the NCP premises and other matters stressing the talks should be limited on the power transfer only.

He added that the African Union and the international community refuse to deal with a military junta and allowing the military to remain for two additional years means preventing the already-isolated country from normalizing its relations with the world.

(ST)

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