Sudanese protesters are seen near burning tyres used to erect a barricade on a street, demanding that the country's Transitional Military Council handover power to civilians. (Reuters)
KHARTOUM – Sudan’s opposition on Tuesday rejected a plan by its military rulers to hold elections within nine months, a day after the worst bout of violence since President Omar al-Bashir was overthrown in April.
At least 35 people were killed on Monday when security forces stormed a protest camp outside the Defence Ministry in central Khartoum, said doctors linked to the opposition.
The Transitional Military Council (TMC) that has ruled since Bashir’s ousting cancelled all agreements reached during talks with the main opposition alliance on setting up a transitional administration. The sides had agreed on forming a parliament and a government that would prepare for elections after three years.
Madani Abbas Madani, a leader of the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF) opposition alliance, said an open-ended civil disobedience campaign would continue to try to force the council from power.
Omar al-Degair, a prominent DFCF leader, said the two sides were close to reaching a final agreement that had been proposed by the TMC. It would have seen a 50-50 split on a sovereign council and a rotational presidency, he said.
“DFCF agreed with a large majority to this agreement presented by the TMC and we were meant to hold an expanded meeting last night to reach a final agreement,” Degair said.
“We have information that there are bodies in Al-Moalem Hospital, near the sit-in, because the council is barring journalists from entering the sit-in site or Al-Moalem Hospital,” he said. He also called on the international community not to recognise the TMC’s legitimacy.
“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 Reuters.
The main protest organizers, the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), called for an international committee to investigate the deaths in what it branded a “massacre”.
Khartoum was tense on Tuesday, with many roads barricaded by protesters, shops shut and streets mostly empty. Security forces were trying to clear the barricades, a Reuters witness said. (Reuters)