Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the country’s protestors yesterday held talks amid calls for handing over power to a civilian government.
TMC’s spokesperson, Shams Al-Deen Al-Kabashi, said on Sunday that the meeting – the first in over a week – was being held “in a more optimistic atmosphere.”
During the meeting, the protestors were represented by the Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change (FDFC) – a coalition of opposition groups led by the Sudanese Professionals Association, which has spearheaded the country’s protests since December.
Local sources told Anadolu Agency that the the two sides were still divided over what role the military should play in the transitional period, adding that the protestors were demanding a full transfer of power to a civilian government that would govern for four years.
The protestors, the sources pointed out, had vowed to continue protests, centered on a sit-in outside the military headquarters in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum. They have called for a series of nationwide protests, including another march to the main sit-in, for the coming week.
The TMC removed deposed president Omar Al-Bashir from power in April after four months of mass protests, but the demonstrators have remained in the streets ever since, demanding the dismantling of his regime. Protestors say that the transitional council is dominated by Al-Bashir appointees.
The military wants to play a leading role in a transition lasting up to two years, while the protesters have demanded an immediate transition to a civilian-led authority.
On Sunday, FDFC said that “military intelligence and some remnants of the former regime had attacked some members of the field committees responsible for securing drinking water, ice and food for the protesters in the square.” The military denied the allegations, claiming that “neither the army nor any regular forces have tried to break the sit-in by force.”