Published: Wed, June 05, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Sudan opposition rejects military's transition plan

Sudan opposition rejects military's transition plan

The move comes a day after a pro-democracy sit-in was violently overrun by the military, leaving at least 35 people dead, according to protest organisers.

Despite the rally taking place on a public street, an officer with the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) said the area was a military zone and that filming was prohibited.

A Sudanese protester walks past a burning tyre near Khartoum's army headquarters on Monday.

The TMC's chief also accused the opposition of attempting to exclude "other political and military forces" from the body that would govern the country in the future.

Videos posted online showed protesters running through streets lined with tents, heads down and ducking as the sound of gunfire filled the air.

The seven-member Transitional Military Council (TMC) is led by Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan.

A group of doctors linked to the opposition said 35 people had been "martyred" in Monday's violence, with the toll expected to rise because not all casualties had been accounted for.

The decision by the Transitional Military Council (TMC) is likely to fuel anger among protest leaders who have demanded preparations for elections during a longer transitional period led by a civilian administration.

"Some of the opposition leaders are asking the UN Security Council and the African Union to demand an immediate transfer of power from the Transitional Military Council to a democratic civilian government led by the Forces of Freedom and Change, as well as an immediate end to Sudan's internal wars", she continued.

The atmosphere in the capital Khartoum was very tense on Tuesday as many roads were barricaded by protesters, many shops were shut and streets were mostly empty.

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"The Secretary-General strongly condemns the violence and reports of the excessive use of force by security personnel on civilians that have resulted in the deaths and injury of many", said United Nations spokesperson Stephane Dujarric.

Dura Gambo, an activist, said large numbers of troops had besieged the sit-in area outside the military's headquarters in Khartoum on Monday and arrested protesters trying to leave.

Bachelet noted that reports stating that live ammunition was used by security forces next to, and even inside, medical facilities are "extremely alarming". The protesters have announced they are suspending talks with the military regarding the creation of a transitional government.

Guterres said in a statement that he was "alarmed" by reports that security forces had opened fire inside a hospital in Khartoum.

"Responsibility falls on the TMC", read the tweet.

The United States has engaged in talks with both Sudanese military leaders and the protesters, who were initially led by young people upset over the cost of living.

An all-out civil war can not be dismissed as these clashes serve to further eliminate goodwill and potential foundations for trust between the TMC and Sudan's protest movement.

For Saudi Arabia and the UAE, preserving "stability" in Sudan via support for the TMC could become an expensive commitment.

The RSF is led by Lt. Gen. Hamdan Dagalo (popularly known as "Hemeti"), the deputy chair of the country's now ruling junta, the Transitional Military Council (TMC), and widely viewed as an aspiring dictator.

The two sides previously failed to reach agreement on the composition of an interim authority with the protesters wanting a civilian majority and the military saying they would not settle for being relegated to defence and security matters alone.

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