Regain of tension in Sudan between the military in power and the challenge

Tensions rise in Khartoum, protest leaders and ruling military still failing to reach agreement on a joint council that would include military and civilian representatives and take the lead from the country.

A protest movement has been shaking the country since 19 December, including the dismissal on 11 April by the army of President Omar al-Bashir.

The protesters are now demanding the departure of the successor Military Transitional Council and the transfer of power to a civilian administration.

Thousands of protesters have been camping in front of army headquarters in Khartoum since April 6, and maintain pressure as military leaders and protest leaders hold talks on the transfer of power.

On Saturday both sides reached an agreement on the creation of a Joint Council comprising civilians and soldiers.

This Joint Council would become the supreme authority of the country and would be responsible for forming a new civilian transitional government to handle current affairs and pave the way for the first post-Bashir elections.

The military council, composed of 10 generals, had until then refused to yield power. He had given himself a two-year term to lead the transition after the removal of Omar al-Bashir, now incarcerated in Khartoum.

But discussions have still not concluded on the composition of the Joint Council, the army proposing including a Council consisting mainly of military, which the protest movement refuses.

The Alliance for Freedom and Change (ALC), which brings together political parties and civil society groups at the head of the protest, confirmed after a new meeting with the Military Council Monday that no agreement had been reached. still been found on the composition of the Council.

She warned that "sit-ins and marches would continue until the goals of the revolution are achieved."

A military spokesman earlier said there were differences between the two sides.

"The Military Council has presented its vision of a Joint Council composed of 10 members, including seven military and three civilians," said spokesman General Chamseddine Kabbachi Monday evening during a press conference.

- Warning of the military -

"The Alliance for Freedom and Change has presented its vision of a 15-member Joint Council, including eight civilians and seven servicemen," he added.

Discussions were scheduled to resume on Tuesday, according to Kabbachi.

Kabbachi said the two sides agreed Monday on the reopening of roads and railroads blocked by protesters around the army headquarters.

But the ALC and the Association of Sudanese Professionals (SPA), the spearhead of the protest, have denied any agreement in this sense calling the protesters to maintain their sit-in and the barricades erected on the site.

"The Military Council is a true copy of the overthrown regime.The army is trying to disperse the sit-in by removing the barricades," accused the SPA late Monday night.

Witnesses on the spot told AFP that the armed forces had not intervened and that the protesters were reinforcing their barricades with stones.

"These barricades protect us, we do not want military vehicles to enter the sit-in area," a protester told AFP.

Determined not to leave, protesters sit on these barricades, waving the flag of Sudan. Others watch from rooftops around possible troop movements, says a witness.

Many protesters, including technicians, are due to join the rally on Tuesday.

The SPA further warned that the sit-in would be maintained "until our requests from a civilian authority are satisfied".

Mr. Kabbachi returned late Monday night on the issue, citing in a statement "the threats to public security and stability that are excavated on cars or civilians by persons without legal authority" , in reference to the checkpoints established by the demonstrators in front of the Army HQ.

He reported "looting, violence against citizens, blocked roads, attacks on security forces and obstacles preventing trains from transporting essential goods to the population".

"The Military Council, as responsible for the protection of the citizens, will put an end to these attempts which go against the slogans of the revolution + Freedom, peace and justice", chanted by the demonstrators since the beginning of the protest, he warned.

Source: Seychelles News Agency

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