KHARTOUM, SUDAN - Sudan’s ruling military council and opposition groups resumed talks Wednesday after a month delay. The talks have raised hopes for a return to stability in Sudan. But the sides have yet to agree which one will hold ultimate power in a proposed transitional government.
Sudan’s Transitional Military Council and opposition groups have resumed talks in Khartoum, responding to weeks of prodding from African Union and Ethiopian facilitators.
The talks stalled a month ago over a basic question: who will ultimately control the proposed sovereign council that will lead Sudan until elections can be organized?
Political analyst Motasim Ahmed thinks agreement is unavoidable, given that an African Union deadline has already past.
As the time is so limited, an agreement should be reached, that means there’s a certain plan, a road map set by mediators and they should observe it and achieve it, Moatasim says. He further believes the concessions made by the two sides responding to the mediator’s suggestion to postpone the conflict on the legislative council may make a rapprochement.
Sudan has been in turmoil since December, when protests against longtime president Omar al-Bashir erupted in Khartoum.
The Transitional Military Council has ruled since soldiers removed Bashir from office on April 11. The leaders of the anti-Bashir protests are demanding that generals transfer power to civilians.
The dispute flared into violence last month when security forces attacked the protesters’ camp outside army headquarters in Khartoum and killed dozens of demonstrators.
Despite the renewed talks about a transitional government, protesters are skeptical.
Anwar al-Habab has doubts about both sides.
It's so obvious that a final agreement will not be reached, because TMC breached the promise, she says. I think Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces also has no plan for the post-talks period. Its required that they should have a plan if they form a civilian government.
Sixty-year-old protester Assim Berair believes the military does not want to share power.
I expect that talks will fail because TMC is clinging to rule, Berair says. But I hope that TMC will respond to people’s demands being represented by the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces, he adds.
In a message on Wednesday, the U.S. embassy in Sudan noted that protesters continue to demonstrate for a civilian-led government, and said it is time for the TMC and opposition to come to an agreement.