Sudan military rulers suspend talks on civil administration

Sudan military rulers suspend talks on civil administration

But in the early hours of Thursday, the chief of Sudan's ruling military council, General Abdel Fattah Al Burhan, announced the talks had been suspended for 72 hours as security in Khartoum had deteriorated.

The sit-in, the culmination of months of demonstrations against Bashir's three-decade rule, was not halted after the army removed him from power on April 11 as the opposition demands that the military hand over power to civilians.

"We made a decision to suspend the negotiations over civil rule for 72 hours to help prepare an atmosphere for completing the deal", Burhan said, demanding that protesters dismantle roadblocks in Khartoum, open bridges connecting the capital and other regions and "stop provoking security forces".

The United States has consistently called on the military council to transfer power to civilians.

But just hours before the talks were due to start, a spokesperson for the umbrella protest group, the Alliance for Freedom and Change, wrote on Facebook that eight people had been wounded by live fire.

"The decision by security forces to escalate the use of force, including the unnecessary use of tear gas, led directly to the unacceptable violence later in the day that the TMC was unable to control", said the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum.

"The tragic attacks on protesters. were clearly the result of the Transitional Military Council trying to impose its will on the protesters by attempting to remove roadblocks", the U.S. embassy said in a statement.

A Reuters witness and Sudanese witnesses said troops in military vehicles carrying the logo of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) fired extensively as they tried to clear demonstrators on al-Mek Nimir Avenue in central Khartoum, near the Foreign Ministry.

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During the first two days of talks the two sides had agreed on an overall civilian structure, including a three-year transitional period for the full transfer of power to a civilian administration.

The transitional parliament will have 300 members, of whom 67% will be appointed by the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces and 33% will be negotiated between the two sides.

But on Tuesday, following the previous night's violence in and around the Khartoum sit-in, protesters vented their anger on the streets of the capital's twin city Omdurman.

The two sides have also agreed that the transitional period duration would be three years, with the first six months to be allotted for achieving peace all over Sudan.

Sudan new rulers had originally announced a four-year transition period, a timeframe rejected by protesters who continued to occupy the streets of the capital.

Protest leader Khalid Omar Yousef downplayed the role of the proposed ruling council, insisting Sudan would have a powerful cabinet.

Demonstrators have vowed to continue to sit-in and march until the government is transitioned to 100 percent civilian rule.

Only the defence and interior ministries would be headed by military figures, he said.

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