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  • A Sudanese protester gestures near burning tyres used to erect a barricade on a street, demanding that the country's Transitional Military Council handover power to civilians, in Khartoum

    A Sudanese protester gestures near burning tyres used to erect a barricade on a street, demanding that the country's Transitional Military Council handover power to civilians, in Khartoum | Photo: Reuters

Published 4 June 2019

Sudan Military Council said Tuesday it was canceling all agreements with the opposition coalition and called for elections within nine months.

The United Nations' rights agency (OHCHR) Tuesday called on Sudanese security forces to halt attacks on Khartoum protest camps and to allow for negotiations for a transition to civilian-led power in the nation to continue.

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OHCHR spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said between 30 and 35 people have been killed and several others injured in the violence. She called for a "de-escalation" in the country, warning that the violence would be a setback for the country's efforts to switch for a democratic switch.

For her part, High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet spelled out that “The use of excessive force must be promptly and independently investigated and those responsible brought to justice”.

A day earlier amid reports of the extrajudicial killings, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, deplored excessive force used against protesters and called on military and civilian leaders to ‘stay the course’ in negotiations.

Meanwhile the country's military rulers, who are backed by the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, announced Tuesday the cancelations of all previous agreements with the protest leaders and said the country would hold elections in nine months.  

"The Military council decides on the following: canceling what was agreed on and stopping negotiating with the Alliance for Freedom and Change, and to call for general elections within a period not exceeding nine months," Sudan's army ruler General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said in a statement broadcast on state television on Tuesday.

Protesters have rejected this decision. Madani Abbas Madani, a leading figure in the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF) opposition alliance, said: “We reject all that was stated in [the] statement.”

The real sticking point was the composition of the council responsible for leading the transition. The demonstrators expected a civilian transition, while the army wanted to have control over this body.

The Military Council’s decision came after they violently dismantled a weeks-long sit-in outside Khartoum's army headquarters, calling on the generals to hand over to civilian rule. Opposition doctors stated more than 35 people have been killed in what is the worst violence demonstration since the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir in April.

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