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Egypt calls for talks in Sudan as military disperses protestors

Monday June 3 2019

Sudanese protesters close Street 60 with

Sudanese protesters close Street 60 with burning tyres and paving blocks as the military forces tried to disperse the sit-in outside Khartoum's army headquarters on June 3, 2019. Egypt has urged all sides in Sudan to return to the negotiating table. PHOTO | ASHRAF SHAZLY | AFP Sudanese protesters close Street 60

AFP
By AFP
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Cairo

Egypt has urged all sides in Sudan to return to the negotiating table as security forces moved to break up a weeks-long protest camp in Khartoum.

Violence erupted at the sit-in outside the army headquarters in the Sudanese capital earlier Monday leaving at least nine protesters dead, according to medics.

Thousands have been camping at the site calling on Sudan's ruling generals to hand over power to civilians following the ouster of long-time autocrat Omar al-Bashir in April.

The military council has denied multiple reports of its forces violently dispersing the sit-in.

"Egypt is following with great interest the developments in Sudan," the ministry said in a statement.

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CALL FOR RESTRAINT

"Egypt also underscores the importance that all Sudanese sides commit to calm, self-restraint and return to the negotiating table," it added.

The move to disperse the sit-in comes after the head of Sudan's ruling military council, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, paid visits to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt last week.

Sudan's generals, backed by the key Arab powers, have resisted calls from African and Western governments to hand over the reins of power.

Multiple rounds of talks between the generals and protest leaders have broken down over whether a planned transitional body would be headed by a civilian or a military figure.

SIT-IN CLEARED

Meanwhile, Sudanese protest leaders said Monday that the site of a weeks-long sit-in outside the army headquarters had been cleared by security forces from the country's Transitional Military Council.

"The Rapid Support Forces and the army and police and militia battalions dispersed the peaceful sit-in," the Alliance for Freedom and Change, the protestors' umbrella group, said in a statement, adding that outside the "headquarters there is no one, but the pure bodies of our martyrs that it has not been possible to evacuate from the site".