Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Sudanese talks progress, sources say, international pressure mounts

Talks between Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok and the leaders of the October 25 military coup are progressing, a source close to Hamdok said Thursday as the United States and the United Nations pressed for a solution.

A second source said Sudan may soon establish a new 14-member sovereign council in a first step by the military towards the creation of new transitional institutions.

In the latest sign of mounting international pressure, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres spoke with Army Chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan on Thursday and urged him to restore constitutional order and the transitional process.

Burhan’s office said that in a phone call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday, Burhan agreed on the need to expedite government formation.

“Both sides agreed on the need to maintain the path of democratic transition, complete the transitional government framework and accelerate government formation,” his office said.

The US State Department said Blinken urged Burhan in the call to immediately release all political figures detained since the coup and “return to a dialogue that returns Prime Minister Hamdok to office and civilians in Sudan- Restores led rule.”

The United Nations is trying to end the political crisis that followed a coup in which top civilian politicians were detained and Hamdok was placed under house arrest.

The UN’s special envoy for Sudan, Special Representative Volker Perthes, said the talks had outlined a possible deal on the sharing of power, including the reinstatement of the deposed prime minister.

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But he urged a settlement in “days not weeks” before the situation on both sides hardens.

Hamdok called for the release of all captives and the withdrawal of the coup as a condition for any further talks with the military.

The country’s highest authority, the Joint Civil-Military Sovereign Council, was dissolved by Burhan along with the civilian-led cabinet.

Burhan, who says he is committed to a transition to democracy and elections, said after the coup that a new sovereign council and cabinet would be appointed.

Late Thursday, state TV said Burhan had ordered the release of four civilian members of Hamdok’s cabinet who had been detained.

The four ministers include Hamza Baloul, Ali Jiddo, Hashim Hasbalrsoul and Yousef Adam. Other ministers and officials facing criminal charges were not released, a person close to the talks said.

Many of the officers still detained were engaged in a war of words with the military in the weeks before the coup.

Neighborhood resistance committees, which have led protests since the coup and held demonstrations on Thursday, rejected talks and demanded that the military quit politics.

The Sudanese Professionals Association, which led the 2019 protests that brought down Omar al-Bashir, called for a two-day general strike on Sunday and Monday to protest the military rule.


This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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