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Saturday, 24 August 2019

Ethiopia proposes civilian-majority ruling body for Sudan: Protesters

AFP , Saturday 22 Jun 2019
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Sudanese protest leaders said Saturday that an Ethiopian envoy mediating with the ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) has proposed forming a civilian-majority governing body for a political transition in Sudan.

Citing a compromise blueprint for the transition which they saw, two protest leaders told AFP it suggests the creation of a 15-member body led by civilians.

Tension between the protest leaders and TMC, who seized power after ousting president Omar Bashir in April, has been high since a deadly crackdown on a protest camp in Khartoum killed dozens earlier this month.

The crackdown carried out by men in military uniforms came after talks between the two sides failed to reach an agreement on the composition of the new ruling body and who should lead it -- a civilian or soldier.

Days after the crackdown, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed tried to mediate between the two sides.

His envoy on Saturday Mahmoud Dardir was to discuss the compromise blueprint for a political transition with protest leaders.

One of them, Amjad Farid, said the document "asserts the previous agreements, as well as a proposal to form the sovereign council of eight civilians and seven military".

He said of the eight civilians, seven would be from the umbrella protest movement the Alliance for Freedom and Change.

Another protest leader Madani Abbas Madani also confirmed that compromise calls for a civilian-majority governing body.

In previous talks, protest leaders and the generals had agreed on a three-year transition period and to form a 300-member parliament, with two-third lawmakers from the protest movement.

Ethiopia stepped up its efforts to resolve the political crisis in Sudan since the deadly June 3 dispersal of a long-running protest camp outside army headquarters in Khartoum.

At least 128 people have been killed in the crackdown, the majority of them on that day, doctors linked to the protest movement say.

The health ministry put the June 3 death toll at 61 nationwide.

The generals deny they ordered the army HQ protest broken up, insisting they authorised only a limited operation to clear drug dealers from around the camp.

It expressed "regret" over the "excesses" that happened on June 3.

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