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Sudan Military Council,Protesters Talk 05/19 08:46

   KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) -- Sudan's ruling military council is meeting with 
protesters on Sunday to discuss the country's political transition after talks 
were halted for three days while roads were cleared outside the main sit-in in 
the capital, Khartoum.

   The two sides have held several rounds of talks since the military overthrew 
President Omar al-Bashir last month, ending his 30-year reign after four months 
of mass protests and sit-ins, which are still underway.

   The deputy head of the military council, Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, better 
known as Hemedti, meanwhile said late Saturday that security forces have 
arrested those behind an attack on the protesters last week that killed at 
least five people, including an army officer. Both the military and the 
protesters had blamed the attack on al-Bashir loyalists.

   "The assailants who opened fire (on protesters) have been caught. Their 
confessions will be broadcast on TV," said Dagalo, who heads the paramilitary 
Rapid Support Forces.

   He hailed the Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change, which 
represents the protesters, for their role in al-Bashir's military overthrow on 
April 11.

   "We want the democracy they are talking about. We want a real democracy, 
fair and free elections. Whoever the Sudanese choose will rule," he said.

   The negotiations were suspended Wednesday, just hours after the military and 
the protesters announced they had agreed on the makeup of an interim parliament 
and a Cabinet for the transitional period, which is to last three years.

   The military council had called for the roads outside the sit-in in front of 
the military's headquarters in Khartoum to be opened. The protesters appear to 
have agreed to the demand, as the roads were cleared without incident on 
Thursday. The protesters also agreed to open the railway that crosses the area 
of the sit-in for five hours a day.

   The generals and the protesters remain divided on what role the military 
should have in the transition to civilian rule. Sunday's talks are expected to 
focus on the makeup of the sovereign council, which would guide the nation 
through the transition.

   The Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change said it insists on 
"limited military representation" in a sovereign council led by civilians.


(KA)

 
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