Saturday, September 26, 2020 | ePaper

Ethiopia PM urges democratic transition in Sudan after deadly crackdown

  • Print


Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's mission to revive talks between Sudan's military rulers and protest leaders comes days after a deadly crackdown drew international condemnation of the generals.

AFP, Khartoum :
Ethiopia's prime minister Friday called for a "quick" democratic transition in Sudan as he met the country's ruling generals and protest leaders, days after a deadly crackdown killed dozens of demonstrators in the capital.
Abiy Ahmed, who has emerged as a key regional leader, arrived in Khartoum to revive talks between the Sudanese generals and protest leaders after the African Union suspended Sudan on Thursday until the military makes way for a civilian-led transitional authority.
The move by the African bloc was backed by the European Union amid a chorus of condemnation of Sudan's military rulers over Monday's deadly crackdown on a weeks-long sit-in outside army headquarters demanding civilian rule.
"The army, the people and political forces have to act with courage and responsibility by taking quick steps towards a democratic and consensual transitional period," Abiy said in a signed statement issued to reporters after he held separate meetings with the generals and protest leaders.
"The army has to protect the security of the country and its people and political forces have to think about the future of the country," he said.
Ethiopia and Sudan share a long frontier and experts say instability in one sparks concern in the other.
Protest leaders welcomed Abiy's mediation but insisted that any fresh talks with the generals could happen only if certain conditions were met.
"The Transitional Military Council has to admit the crime it committed," Omar al-Digeir, a prominent leader from the protest movement, the Alliance for Freedom and Change, told reporters.
He said all "military elements should also be removed from the streets across the country" and called for an international probe into "the massacre at the sit-in".
The generals are ready to sit for "negotiations and reach a solution at any time", foreign ministry official Hassan Ahmed told reporters.
Digeir said the military council should also restore access to the internet and allow public and media freedoms.
Since the deadly assault, fearful Khartoum residents have remained largely indoors, leaving the streets virtually deserted at a time when Muslims are normally out celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday.
Paramilitaries of the feared Rapid Support Forces, who have their origins in the notorious Janjaweed militia unleashed in the conflict in the western region of Darfur in 2003 and 2004, have remained stationed in a number of the capital's main squares.
Others have been seen out on patrol in their trademark pickup trucks mounted with heavy machine guns or rocket launchers.
"We're living in a state of terror because of sporadic gunfire," a resident of south Khartoum told AFP.
He said he was "afraid for (his) children to go out in the street," as the paramilitaries patrolled parts of the capital.
In north Khartoum, riot police fired tear gas on Thursday evening after protesters put up makeshift roadblocks made from rocks, bricks and tree trunks.
RSF commander Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who is deputy head of the ruling military council, has warned he will not "allow chaos" and has vowed to tear down all barricades.
The protesters and the military authorities have given sharply divergent death tolls for the crackdown.
Doctors close to the demonstrators say 113 people were killed in Khartoum, including 40 whose bodies were pulled out of the Nile.
The health ministry says 61 people died nationwide, 52 of them by "live ammunition" in Khartoum.

More News For this Category

At least two stabbed near Charlie Hebdo's former offices in Paris

Reuters, Paris :At least two people were stabbed on Friday near the former offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in Paris that was attacked by Islamist militants over

Turkey orders dozens of arrests including opposition mayor

Al Jazeera News :Authorities in Turkey have issued arrest warrants for 82 people, including an opposition party mayor, over protests six years ago.The warrants relate to October 2014 protests

Malaysia power struggle set to drag on as king recuperates

Malaysia power struggle set to drag on as king recuperates

Al Jazeera News :Malaysia's King Sultan Abdullah will not be granting an audience to anyone for a week as he is under observation in hospital, a palace official said

UK police officer shot dead at custody centre in south London

UK police officer shot dead at custody centre in south London

Reuters, London :A British police officer has been shot dead by a man who was being detained at a custody centre in south London in the early hours of

Hong Kong legislators protest against China's arrest of activists

Al Jazeera News :Opposition politicians in Hong Kong have staged a protest in the city's legislature, calling for the release of 12 activists arrested at sea by China as

Egypt braces for fresh anti-Sisi protests

Al Jazeera News :"This is our chance to liberate our country," Mohamed Ali, a former military contractor, said in a video message posted on Facebook on Thursday."Every day, our

Bah Ndaw sworn in as Mali's transitional president following coup

Bah Ndaw sworn in as Mali's transitional president following coup

Al Jazeera News :Coup leader Colonel Assimi Goita was also sworn in as the vice president of the transition during a ceremony on Friday held in the capital, Bamako.The

US records over seven million Covid-19 cases as Midwest outbreak surges

US records over seven million Covid-19 cases as Midwest outbreak surges

Reuters :The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States topped 7 million - more than 20% of the world's total - as Midwest states reported spikes in

North Korean troops killed missing South Korean official, burned body

Reuters, Seoul :North Korean troops shot dead a South Korean fisheries official who went missing earlier this week, before dousing his body in oil and setting it on fire

Madrid pleads for more doctors, police as coronavirus cases surge

Madrid pleads for more doctors, police as coronavirus cases surge

Reuters, Madrid :Spain's Madrid region on Wednesday requested urgent help to hire hundreds of foreign doctors and reinforce police as they registered 1,290 new coronavirus infections and considered extending