22 June 2019

Sudan: Protest Leaders Meet With Ethiopian Envoy to Resume Negotiations With Ruling Military

Protesters in Sudan say they are getting ready to meet with an Ethiopian envoy over proposals to resume negotiations with the ruling military council.

The leaders of the protesters say they have received Ethiopia's initiative for the transition from military to civilian rule, adding they will declare their position during Saturday's meeting with Ethiopian diplomat Mahmoud Dirir.

The Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change (FDFC) is a coalition of political groups representing the protesters.

They are calling for an international probe into a deadly crackdown by the military earlier this month that killed dozens as well as restoring all previous deals initially made with the council, before they agree to resume talks.

Such deals include:

A three-year transition period

A protester-appointed Cabinet

A FDFC majority legislative body

But the military council's chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan called for "unconditional" negotiations to be resumed.

Blackout

Meanwhile residents in the southern district of Khartoum on Friday night were preparing the stage for the Sudanese protest leaders who were due to brief people on the movement's latest updates.

The district is currently faced with a power outage, blocked internet access and heightened security, leaving the people with few means to organize the meeting.

"The campaign keeps us updated with whatever new is happening about the situation in Sudan," said Mujahed Abdelnaby who was attending the gathering.

Movement persists

Following the military's violent crackdown on the protesters main area outside the army headquarters on June 3, the ruling generals have largely cut internet services in an effort to minimize the spreading of information and organizing gatherings.

Speaking last week, Waheeb Mohamed Saeed, one of the leading figures from the FDFC coalition said in an effort to keep momentum and communication alive, they began organizing daily simultaneous gatherings.

"We just want to keep the communication going with the people to confront the blackout imposed by the military council".

He said such campaigns are circulated via text message and word of mouth among residents.

Maybe #BlueForSudan won't save the world, but it will raise awareness about a terrible issue that would otherwise go unspoken and *hopefully* let the people of Sudan know they are not alone.Be their voice when they don't have one. pic.twitter.com/EuhfDz7auw

Ronza (@RaniaEssamAli) June 17, 2019

An online campaign outside Sudan called #BlueSudan is aiming to create more awareness and ultimately more pressure on the military to give up its power.

Demands

Right now one of the demands by the protest leaders is the resumption of internet services before any negotiations pick-up again.

Just before the military crack-down, talks between the leaders and the military council had collapsed.

But both sides agreed to an offer by Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to mediate the crisis.

(with Wires)

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