Sudan’s military rulers offered to resume talks with opposition groups on Wednesday, two days after security forces mounted a deadly raid on a protest camp, but the opposition rejected the invitation.
Medics linked to the opposition said the death toll from Monday’s operation and subsequent unrest had risen to 108 and that it was expected to increase. State news agency SUNA early on Thursday put the number much lower, at 46, citing a health ministry official.
The raid, which followed weeks of wrangling between the ruling military council and opposition groups over who should lead Sudan’s transition to democracy, marked the worst outbreak of violence since the army ousted President Omar al-Bashir in April after months of protests against his 30-year rule.
The Transitional Military Council canceled all agreements it had reached with the opposition immediately after the raid, but it rowed back on Wednesday amid mounting international criticism of the violence.
“We in the military council extend our hand for negotiations without shackles except the interests of the homeland,” its head, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, said on state TV.
But a Sudanese alliance of protesters and opposition groups rejected the offer, saying the military could not be trusted.
“Today the council invited us to dialogue and at the same time it is imposing fear on citizens in the streets,” Madani Abbas Madani, a leader of the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF), told Reuters.
Madani said Burhan’s invitation had come before the arrest of one of the opposition alliance members, Yasir Arman, deputy head of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) rebel group.
Lieutenant General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, head of the Sudanese Transitional Military Council, TMC, makes a broadcast announcement in Khartoum.
Opposition medics said 40 bodies that had been pulled out of the Nile on Tuesday were among the 108 killed. The bodies were taken to an unknown destination by pickup trucks belonging to the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, the medics said. Reuters was not immediately able to verify the report.
Advertise or Publish a Story on EkoHot Blog:
Kindly contact us at [email protected]. Breaking stories should be sent to the above email and substantiated with pictorial evidence.
Citizen journalists will receive a token as data incentive.
Call or Whatsapp: 0803 561 7233, 0703 414 5611