Distrust between Sudanese parties makes direct talks impossible: U.S

Erika Holt
June 15, 2019

Military rulers in Sudan have admitted that security forces committed abuses when they attacked a protest camp in Khartoum earlier this week.

A top U.S. diplomat for Africa, Tibor Nagy, was due to arrive in Khartoum, Sudan, to join an global push to salvage a deal between Sudan's opposition groups and the military council. According to protestors, security forces killed more than 100 people in the capital and across the country.

The Forces for Declaration of Freedom and Change, which represents the protesters' demand for civilian rule, has called on people to return to work across Sudan, after a three-day general strike.

But with his exit, talks of democracy between the protesters and the general (who are now ruling in the country) died down as well.

Approximately 35 people were killed in the first day of the crackdown and the death toll has steadily increased to 129 with hundreds injured, the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors said.

Kabbashi said Washington had given the council several pieces of advice, "but they are not orders".

US call to stop attacks The US assistant secretary of state for African affairs, Tibor Nagy, plans to meet both the generals and protest leaders in Khartoum, the State Department said. The United States also on Wednesday named veteran diplomat Donald Booth as its envoy to Sudan.

Ethiopia's Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that the military council and leaders of the protest movement had agreed to resume their talks soon, "in good faith to iron out the remaining outstanding points".

The United States was helping the continuing political negotiations between the council and the opposition, it added.

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Kabbashi said the findings of an investigation into the events of June 3 would be released on Saturday.

Rights groups continued to express alarm over the situation. Kabashi ruled that out, alleging the use of social media has posed a threat to national security.

"I went to the bank with a cheque and they said there's no money". In a statement after their visit Nagy supported the main demands from the opposition.

There has been harsh condemnation of the bloody crackdown, but other than that here has been little concrete pushback from the United Nations or Western nations, including the United States.

Trade sanctions were lifted in 2017, but Sudan is still on the USA list of state sponsors of terrorism, which prevents it from accessing much-needed funding from worldwide lenders.

He then dissolved Sudan's elected government, banned political parties and trade unions, and ushered in a series of restrictive measures to cement his grip on power, including a ban on demonstrations and the imposition of a state of emergency.

Stability in the country of 40 million people is crucial for a volatile region struggling with conflict and insurgencies from the Horn of Africa to Egypt and Libya.

In the northern district of Bahari, a hotbed of unrest where protesters had put up roadblocks in the past few weeks, most shops were closed Tuesday but there were no barricades to be seen, an AFP correspondent reported.

The public prosecution on Thursday announced it had completed its investigations in the criminal case filed against Bashir, the news agency said.

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