Sudanese protesters wave flags and flash victory signs as they gather for a sit-in outside the military headquarters in Khartoum on Sunday. Mohamed El-Shahed/ AFP
Sudan’s ruling military council restarted talks late on Sunday with an alliance of protest and opposition groups that is pushing for a civilian-led transition to democracy.
Both sides have signalled that they are close to an agreement over a three-year transition, but more than six hours of overnight talks at the presidential palace in Khartoum failed to produce a breakthrough.
The negotiations are due to resume on Monday evening.
The Transitional Military Council (TMC) had suspended the talks late on Wednesday after two outbreaks of violence around protest sites in Khartoum.
Street protests and a sit-in outside the Defence Ministry have continued since the army ousted and arrested former President Omar al-Bashir on April 11.
Demonstrators are calling for a rapid transition to civilian rule, and demanding justice over the deaths of dozens of people killed since protests triggered by an economic crisis and decades of repressive rule spread across Sudan from Dec. 19.
The TMC and the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF) have agreed on a three-year transition before elections, but have been deadlocked over whether civilians or the military would control a sovereign council that would hold ultimate power.
The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which spearheaded protests against Bashir and heads the DFCF, has accused the TMC of dragging its feet in the talks and has sought to increase pressure on the council by expanding protests.
It also held the TMC responsible for street violence over the past week in which several protesters were killed and dozens wounded.
The council accused protesters of not respecting an understanding on de-escalation while talks were under way.
Sudanese army rulers and protest leaders on Wednesday agreed on a three-year transition period for transferring power to a full civilian administration, even as negotiations over a new sovereign ruling body remain unfinished.
Activists warned of an attempt to disperse a 10-day-old mass protest outside army headquarters on Monday, as Sudan’s new military rulers came under rising pressure to hand power to a civilian government.
Sudan’s ruling military transferred former president Omar Al Bashir to a prison in the country’s capital as hundreds of people marched on Wednesday to a sit-in outside the army headquarters in Khartoum, calling for a quick handover of power to a civilian leadership.
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