New talks on Sudan civil rule today, say protesters - GulfToday

New talks on Sudan civil rule today, say protesters

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Army rulers and protesters are to hold fresh talks. File

Sudan’s army rulers and protesters are to hold fresh talks over handing power to a civilian administration on Monday, a spokesman for the protest movement said.

On Saturday, the Alliance for Freedom and Change -- an umbrella for the protest movement -- said the generals had invited it for a new round of talks after several days of deadlock.

“The meeting was planned for today but it has now been postponed to Monday,” alliance spokesman Rashid Al Sayed said.

Sayed did not explain why the talks were postponed, but sources in the alliance said that more time was needed for consultations within the leadership.

“We want to hold the talks quickly and sort out all these points in 72 hours,” the alliance said on Saturday.

The latest planned round of talks come as thousands of protesters remain camped outside army headquarters in central Khartoum.

They say they are determined to force the ruling military council to cede power -- just as they pushed the military into deposing veteran president Omar Al Bashir on April 11.

The army generals and protesters are at loggerheads over who will sit on a new ruling body that would replace the existing military council.

The generals have proposed that the new council be military led, while the protest leaders want a majority civilian body.

Late last month, the alliance -- which brings together protest organisers, opposition parties and rebel groups -- handed the generals its proposals for a civilian-led transitional government.

But the generals have pointed to what they call “many reservations” over the alliance’s roadmap.

They have singled out its silence on the constitutional position of sharia law, which was the guiding principle of all legislation under Bashir’s rule but is anathema to secular groups like the Sudanese Communist Party and some rebel factions in the alliance.

The United Arab Emirates recently announced it would deposit $250 million in Sudan’s central bank as part of a support package for the country following the overthrow of Bashir.

The government-owned Abu Dhabi Fund for Development signed an agreement with the Sudanese central bank “confirming the deposit,” the UAE’s official WAM news agency said.

Last week, Saudi Arabia and the UAE announced $3 billion in financial aid for Sudan.

The Gulf states pledged to inject $500 million into the Sudanese central bank and $2.5 billion to help provide food, medicine and petroleum products, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The deposit for the central bank was aimed at shoring up the Sudanese pound, the SPA said.

Sudan’s new army rulers last Monday ordered protesters to dismantle their barricades on roads leading to the military headquarters.

The demand to reopen roads came a day after rally leaders suspended talks with the 10-member council about their main demand to transfer power to a civilian administration.

Uganda said it would consider granting asylum to Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), a state minister said on Tuesday.

“If Uganda is approached to grant asylum to Bashir it is an issue that can be considered at the highest level of our leadership,” state minister for foreign affairs Henry Okello Oryem told reporters.

Separately, clashes between members of two Sudanese tribes in an eastern town have left seven people dead and 22 wounded over the past two days, a local official said on Sunday.

The violence erupted on Saturday between members of the Nuba and Bani Amer tribes in the town of Gadaref, said Mohieddine Ahmed, governor of Gadaref province.

“It all started when a woman from the Nuba tribe and a water vendor from the Bani Amer tribe quarrelled over the price of water” on Saturday, Ahmed said. “The verbal dispute ended with the vendor killing the woman, which triggered anger among her tribe members.”

Members of the two groups then set fire to homes and shops belonging to each other’s kin, Ahmed added.

“In the ensuing clashes seven people have been killed and 22 wounded,” Ahmed said, adding that the two groups have clashed in the past.

The wounded included seven policemen, he said, as officers sought to separate the groups with tear gas and by firing shots in the air.

Ahmed said the fighting that erupted on Saturday continued until Sunday morning.

Agencies