Published: Wed, June 12, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Shops reopen as Sudan generals, protesters agree to talk

Shops reopen as Sudan generals, protesters agree to talk

After the military ousted and arrested Bashir on April 11, following months of protests, talks became deadlocked over who would control a sovereign council that would oversee a three-year transition toward elections.

A doctors' association has said security forces killed about 100 people and injured about 500 others during a crackdown on a mass sit-in in Khartoum on June 3.

It had threatened to pile even more pressure on the generals by releasing a list of members for a new ruling body - the key point of dispute between the two sides.

The alliance said in a statement it would suspend the strike from Wednesday until further notice, though it encouraged people to remain mobilized for possible further action.

The Security Council "should halt all handovers, reassess downsizing plans, and refocus its attention on UNAMID's core mandate to protect civilians", said Jehanne Henry, associate Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

Activists have said the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), which are loyal to the ruling military council, carried out the rapes during the deadly crackdown on the sit-in outside the army complex in the capital Khartoum.

"We are now getting used to living with guns as we are seeing so many of these men walking into restaurants with their weapons", one resident said as a group of RSF members entered an eatery.

But protesters say their shutdown is already successful.

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"This shows clearly what we can do, and also in a peaceful way", said Ishraga Mohamed.

Protesters had set up roadblocks across many areas of the capital that the ruling generals have vowed to remove in order to return "life to normal".

The leader said the opposition Freedom and Change alliance planned to nominate Abdullah Hamdouk, a former executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, as new prime minister, Reuters reported. The coup leaders are locked in a growing violent confrontation with a protest movement that is demanding they hand power over to a civilian leadership now that al-Bashir is gone.

The generals have blamed protesters for a deterioration in security in Khartoum and across the country.

"We are appealing to those who blocked the roads to open them for all the sick people. since many people lost their lives because they can not reach the hospital", senior health ministry official Mohamed Altom told reporters. Nothing about the generals' actions has indicated that this is an imminent possibility.

The top U.S. diplomat to Africa is heading to Sudan in an attempt to negotiate between the ruling generals and protest leaders and to call for an end to violence and intimidation by paramilitaries loyal to the junta.

The New Arab has contacted the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors for comment on the reports.

The militia in accused of abuses in the Darfur conflict between 2003 and 2004 in a campaign against ethnic groups suspected of supporting rebels.

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