"Removing barricades does not justify firing a gun," Sudanese protester, Mohammed Hussein says.
Protesters at the Sudanese capital sit-in denounced a declaration by the Transitional Military Council (TMC) to halt ongoing negotiations after violence erupted Wednesday, May 15.
At least nine people were wounded Wednesday when Sudanese forces used live ammunition to clear demonstrators from central Khartoum, a protest group said. Talks to form a civilian-military body to lead Sudan to democracy have been suspended for 72 hours.
"Removing barricades does not justify firing a gun," protester Mohammed Hussein told Reuters. "This is directed to the military council: We will not be able to find who fired the guns and it is not our responsibility to find whoever fired the gun but you have to bring us the person who did."
The violence has halted talks that had appeared on course to form a joint military-civilian body to run the country for a three-year transition period until presidential elections. Both sides traded accusations on who was responsible for the violence.
The head of Sudan's TMC Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, accused the demonstrators of breaking an understanding on de-escalation while talks were under way and said protesters were disrupting life in the capital by blocking roads outside a protest zone agreed upon with the military.
In a televised speech broadcast early Thursday, Burhan read out a long list of what he described as violations of understandings reached with protest leaders and said the TMC had decided to suspend talks for 72 hours "until a suitable atmosphere is created to complete an agreement."
The two sides, which have held talks for several weeks, announced early Wednesday they had agreed on the composition of a legislative council and the duration of the transition.
The TMC had initially said the military would rule the nation for up to two years before elections were held after military members and led an overthrow of former authoritarian President Omar al Bashir April 11.
Activists had been calling for a much swifter transition to civilian democracy. They have had the backing of the United Nations and the African Union that wanted the transition to a civilian council by early July.