Panafrican News Agency

Sudanese Military Council rejects pressure on how to handle aftermath of attack on pro-democracy youth

Khartoum, Sudan (PANA) - Lt.-Gen. Abdul Fatah Al Buran, President of the Sudanese Transitional Military Council, left Khartoum on Friday on a short visit to Eritrea at the invitation of President Asias Afwerki, at a time a number of mediators are landing in Khartoum to help broker peace between the Council and the disgruntled revolutionary leadership of the Forces for Freedom and Change.


Two top American diplomats (the US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa and the US Special Envoy to the Sudan), the Ethiopian Presidential Envoy for mediation between the two Sudanese sides, the African Union Representative to follow up developments in the Sudan, as well as the IGAD representative are all in Khartoum to try help the Sudanese return to the negotiating table.


But the Military Council expressed its unhappiness with some of the conditions put for resumption of the talks, top of which is the formation of an international committee to probe the killing of the pro-democracy elements, about ten days ago.


The pro-democracy representatives and the Americans say they want an independent international committee to look into the shooting and say who is responsible and bring them to court of law.


UN experts, the United Nations Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten, the UK and France among others, say they want to see a committee made up of foreign experts probe this case.


But the Sudanese Transitional Military Council made it clear that no one should expect it to bow to local or international pressure in working out a breakthrough to the current impasse with the youth group, the Forces for Freedom and Change, as more and more regional and international teams land in Khartoum, nine weeks after the revolt that ended 30 year old rule of President Omar Bashir, 1989-2019


“We in the Military Council extend out our hands with open heart, emanating from our responsibility towards the security and stability of the Sudan," Lt.-Gen. Shams–Eddin Al Kabashi, Member of the Military Council, was Friday quoted as telling a late Thursday press briefing in Khartoum.


Kabashi, who is head of the Political Committee within the said Council, has stressed that his council was aware that confidence has been shuttered after the dispersing of the sit-in on June 3 with a huge gap building between two, notwithstanding the council apologies and explanati8onathat the fatalities were by product of the cleaning up operation.


He has said they believed that the Ethiopian mediation could rebuild this confidence for re-launching of the negotiation. However he has made it clear that”We are not succumbing to any political or regional or international pressure to investigate the dispersing of the sit in.”


After the ouster of Omar Bashir, April 11 2019, the two sides entered into negotiations as to how an interim period could be tailored to help the country cross into a civilian government.


In the process, a tit for tat erupted with each side exercising pressure to score gains.


The matter reached its peak when a military force on June 3 attacked the sit in areas of pro-democracy vigilantes, resulting in the death of over 60 and injury to hundreds.


The Youth group, the Forces for Freedom and Change, pulled out of the negotiations, saying for any resumption of talks, an international panel should investigate the shooting and prepare a report about who was guilty. 


Many local attempts and initiatives were made to bring them back to the negotiating table, but all these were in vain. 


With the world weary of further escalation and human rights crying foul play, international and regional envoy started coming to Khartoum.


Kabashi stressed that his country is a “sovereign state and possesses independent professional and transparent judiciary institutions that are capable of trying who ever found guilty of breaking the law while dismantling the sit-in before the army headquarters.


He also said an investigation committee set to probe the shooting and the interrogations of a number of senior military and security elements will announce its finding on Saturday, in preparation for bring the issue to the court of law.


He also revealed that the council has turned down an invitation by the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, to transfer the venue of the talks with the pro revolutionary elements to Ethiopia. But he said his country does appreciate the Ethiopian mediation.


“We will confer with the Ethiopian mediation Friday for the resumption of the negotiations within 24 hours," Kabashi said.

-0- PANA MO/VAO 14June2019