7 protesters dead in Sudan demos dispersed since Saturday

Khartoum: Sudan’s interior minister said on Monday that seven protesters had died, including six in the state of Khartoum, when security forces dispersed several anti-government demonstrations held since April 6.
“While the demonstrations were being dispersed seven citizens died, six of them in Khartoum state and one in central Darfur,” Bushara Juma told parliament, adding that about 10,000 protesters had rallied in front of the military headquarters in the capital on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Sudanese group spearheading months-long protests against President Omar Bashir’s rule on Monday called on the army to hold direct talks with demonstrators about forming a transitional government.
“We call on the Sudanese armed forces to talk directly with the Alliance for Freedom and Change for facilitating the peaceful process of forming a transitional government,” Omar el Digeir, a senior member of the group, said in a statement outside the army headquarters where thousands of demonstrators have massed since Saturday.
Digeir said the protest organisers had also formed a council to initiate talks with security forces and the international community aimed at agreeing a political transition that gives power to a “transitional government that represents the wish of the revolution”.
“We reiterate our people’s demand that the head of the regime and his government have to immediately step down.”
“We also call on the Sudanese armed forces to withdraw their support for a regime that has lost its legitimacy,” Digeir said, reading from a statement issued by the alliance.
“We call on the Sudanese armed forces to support the Sudanese people’s alternative for a transition to a civilian democratic government.”
The Alliance for Freedom and Change is an umbrella group of political parties and unions representing doctors, engineers and teachers that has led the protest movement against Bashir since December.
The rally outside the army headquarters, now in its third straight day, has been the largest since protests began on December 19 in the central town of Atbara, quickly spreading to the capital and towns and cities.
The protesters accuse Bashir’s administration of economic mismanagement that has led to soaring food prices and shortages of fuel and foreign currency. — Agencies