Sudan army ruler suspends civil rule talks

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Sudan’s military rulers on Thursday suspended crucial talks with protesters on installing civilian rule, insisting more time was needed to finalise the deal as Khartoum’s security situation deteriorated.

On Wednesday army generals and protest leaders were expected to decide on the make-up of a new body to govern Sudan for three years, the thorniest issue in instating civilian rule following the ouster of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir last month.

But after at least eight people were reported wounded by gunshots near a sit-in outside the army complex in the capital, Sudan’s army ruler General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan announced negotiations would be suspended for 72 hours.

Burhan the chief of the ruling military council that took power after Bashir was toppled  left the door open to resume talks but demanded protesters dismantle roadblocks in Khartoum, open bridges and railway lines connecting the capital and “stop provoking security forces”.

There were “armed elements among demonstrators who were shooting at security forces”, he added.

Earlier on Wednesday, protest leaders told AFP of the ruling military council’s decision to suspend talks.

“They asked us to dismantle barricades in parts of the capital,” Rashid al-Sayid, a spokesman of the umbrella protest movement the Alliance for Freedom and Change said.