Sudanese protesters criticize military for suspending talks

Sudanese protesters block a street in the capital Khartoum

Violence overshadows Sudan's transition push

The Sudanese Transitional Military Council (TMC) said it has chose to suspend talks with the opposition for three days and remove all the barricades built by protesters in the country's capital of Khartoum, local media reported on Thursday.

Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, in a televised statement announced the suspension of talks for 72 hours, accusing protesters of breaking a deal on de-escalation.

Khartoum has been plagued by protests in recent weeks, despite the opposition's success in ousting long-running dictator Omar al-Bashir from power last month, with locals demanding the military hand full control over to civilian rule.

Both the military and the opposition blamed each other for the violence.

The make-up of the new sovereign council has been the toughest part of the negotiations, with the two sides so far proposing different compositions of the body which is expected to take all key decisions concerning national issues.

"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".

"We vow to our people that the agreement will be completed fully within 24 hours in a way that it meets the people's aspirations", Atta said.

There have been several deadly incidents of violence at the sit-ins, including at the main protest site outside the military headquarters in the capital, Khartoum.

Early on Wednesday the military named a committee to investigate targeting protesters after at least four people were killed in Khartoum on Monday.

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.

"People were walking to the barricades and security forces were firing shots at them", a 20-year-old demonstrator, who asked not to be named, said showing bullet casings and referring to road blocks set up by protesters.

Sudanese protesters erect a barricade along a street during demonstrations in central Khartoum, Sudan, May 15, 2019.

The new council is expected to form a transitional civilian government, which would then prepare for the first post-Bashir election after the three-year changeover period ends.

The Alliance for Freedom and Change meanwhile said the shootings on Monday were an attempt to "disturb the breakthrough" in talks.

"Military council must act to stop this now".

"Only the ministers of defence and interior are going to be with the military".

"Extremely concerned by use of live ammunition by Sudanese security forces against protesters in Khartoum today, with reports of civilian casualties", Irfan Siddiq wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

In Arbaa, some demonstrators blocked roads with burning tyres, a witness said, adding that troops deployed to the area.

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