Sudan: Junta Calls for Resumption of Talks, Opposition Refuses

Khartoum, June 5, 2019

Khartoum — The chairman of the Transitional Military Council (TMC), Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, has called on the Alliance for Freedom and Change (AFC) to resume dialogue on the transitional phase, one day after the junta cancelled all former agreements with the Alliance concerning civilian rule. The AFC refuses to "negotiate with murderers".

El Burhan said in a speech on the occasion of Eid El Fitr on Wednesday that the TMC is "ready to unconditionally negotiate". The only condition is "the interest of the country".

He said the TMC is "still ready to hand over power to an elected government".

The junta leader called for "a new stage that expresses the aspirations of the Sudanese. He expressed his sadness about the people killed and injured during the recent events, and pledged to hold those responsible for the violent evacuation of the people at the sit-in in front of the army command in Khartoum on Monday. He added that the Public Prosecution has opened an urgent investigation into the matter.

The Sudan Doctors Central Committee estimated yesterday that more than 100 people have been killed since members of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Sudan's main militia, backed by a large presence of security forces, violently dispersed the Khartoum sit-in in the early hours of Monday morning.

'Total civil disobedience'

The AFC however has stated that they will not "negotiate with murderers".

In a statement on Wednesday, the Alliance called for "an international commission of inquiry, to be formed by the UN, to investigate the events in the end of the holy month of Ramadan".

"Disarmament of the Janjaweed militia and the security forces, removing them from urban areas, and sending them back to the military barracks, will guarantee that the situation will not slide towards the abyss,." - AFC

The AFC further called for a "total civil disobedience", and appealed to the Sudanese to lay down their tools "in order to let the whole world know that the people of Sudan's sole concern is to remove the entire security committee of the former regime".

They requested the people to set up barricades on the roads to protect protesters, and to continue calling for "freedom, peace, and justice".

The Alliance further urged the members of the Sudanese army "to play their role in protecting citizens" after the violent dismantling of the sit-in by the Rapid Support Forces, the country's main militia.

The Sudan Armed Forces should confront "the barbaric Janjaweed militiamen and the shadow battalions" and prevent them from further encroachment on Sudanese towns.

"Disarmament of the Janjaweed militia and the security forces, removing them from urban areas, and sending them back to the military barracks, will guarantee that the situation will not slide towards the abyss", the AFC said.

'Treacherous'

El Sadig El Mahdi, chairman of the National Umma Party said that the junta's "systematic, bloody and brutal use of force" to end the sit-in has left dozens of people killed and hundreds of wounded in the early hours of Monday. "The military junta has wasted what it gained by refusing the orders of tyrant Omar Al Bashir to disperse the sit-in by force."

During his Eid sermon at El Ansar Mosque in Wad Nubawi, El Mahdi called the dismantling of the sit-in "treacherous and unjustified".

He called on the TMC to acknowledge that the attacks on protesters at the Khartoum sit-in were orchestrated. The perpetrators must be held accountable.

According to El Mahdi, the TMC leaders have two options. They may continue their attacks [on demonstrators], putting themselves at the same level of the recently deposed rulers - which will lead to an inevitable confrontation with the protesting people in the country. Or they claim responsibility for what happened, hold accountable all those involved in the violence on Monday, and be prepared for a transfer of power to a civilian-led order as determined by the representatives of the popular revolution.

'Total chaos'

The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), the driving force behind the uprising and the Declaration of Freedom and Change, has called for the continuation of civil disobedience and a comprehensive strike until the overthrow of the military junta to protect the country from "total chaos".

The Association expressed in a statement on Wednesday its rejection of "the involvement of the military rulers in the regional axe", calling on the international community to isolate the military junta and stop dealing with it.

The attacks on the sit-ins in Khartoum and other Sudanese cities were launched shortly after members of the TMC visited Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, and Egypt to secure support for their standpoints. Observers say that the three countries prefer a strong military rule over a civilian-led democratic government.

The SPA also called for the dismantling of the "Janjaweed militiamen, the security apparatus and the shadow brigades of the regime", and emphasised the Sudanese people's adherence to a peaceful solution.

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