Sudan talks end with no accord on ruling body

Khartoum: Sudanese army rulers and protesters failed on Tuesday to reach an agreement yet again on the make-up of a new ruling body as negotiations also became deadlocked over who should lead it — a civilian or soldier.
The two sides launched a round of new talks late on Sunday over the sovereign council to rule Sudan for a three-year transitional period following last month’s ouster of longtime ruler Omar al Bashir.
The military council that replaced him has faced international pressure to install a civilian-led administration — a key demand of thousands of demonstrators who have spent weeks camped outside Khartoum’s army headquarters.
Late on Monday the military council and the protest movement the Alliance for Freedom and Change met again at the presidential palace to finalise the proposed ruling body but they were unable to clinch a deal.
Neither side said when talks would resume, but one of the protest leaders Siddiq Yousef told reporters that “the negotiations are suspended between us and the Transitional Military Council until there is a breakthrough”.
The ruling military council did not say if talks had been suspended.
“The main point of dispute that remains is concerning the share of representatives of the military and the civilians in the council and who will be the head of the new body,” a joint statement issued by the generals and protest alliance said after talks ended around midnight.
Satea al Haj, a prominent leader of the Alliance for Freedom and Change, said Tuesday that the military council has insisted that the president of the sovereign council should be from the military and has “conclusively” rejected a civilian leader.
“They are justifying it by saying the country faces security threats,” he earlier said.
The protest movement insists civilians must form the majority of the body’s members, a demand resisted by military leaders but backed by major world powers, Haj added.
“The international community and the African Union will not accept to deal with a military government,” he said.
— AFP