Sudan’s military authorities on Wednesday offered to resume a dialogue on a transition to democracy, one day after he scrapped all agreements with an opposition alliance.
The offer by the head of Sudan’s ruling military council, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, came as the number of people killed since security forces stormed a protest camp in Khartoum on Monday rose to 60, according to a medical group linked to the opposition.
In a message for the Muslim Eid al-Fitr broadcast on state television, Burhan paid homage to the uprising that began in December and culminated with the military overthrow and arrest of President Omar al-Bashir in April. He was still ready to hand over power to an elected government, he said.
“We in the military council, extend our hands to negotiations without shackles except the interests of the homeland,” Burhan said.
Burhan had previously announced he was skipping any negotiations with protest groups and said he would organise elections within nine months.
His decision came after security forces stormed a protest camp outside the Defence Ministry in central Khartoum in an operation that resulted in the death of at least 35 people, according to the doctors’ group.
The association said more people had been killed since then throughout Khartoum and its twin city of Omdurman.
The opposition movement had earlier rejected plans by the military rulers to conduct elections in the country in nine months’ time, after over 35 people were reportedly killed in what demonstrators called a “bloody massacre” by security forces.
Madani Abbas Madani, a leader of the opposition Freedom and Change alliance, had on Tuesday called on supporters to join in the “total civil disobedience” to force out the ruling military council
“What happened [on Monday] – the killing and injuring of protesters, the humiliation – was a systematic and planned attempt to impose repression on the Sudanese people,” Madani told reporters.
In April, president Omar al-Bashir was removed from office by the Transitional Military Council (TMC) after months of protests against his authoritarian rule and had agreed a three-year transition period to a civilian administration.
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