Sudan’s junta scraps agreements with protesters as tensions reemerge
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Sudan’s junta scraps agreements with protesters as tensions reemerge

The head of Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC), Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, announced that elections would be held within nine months and that a government would immediately be formed to run the country until the vote. “Gaining legitimacy and a mandate does not come but through the ballot box,” he said in a televised address in the early hours of Tuesday. He did not explain what the composition of the government would look like or who would pick its members. Last month, the ruling generals — who set up the TMC after ousting long-time president Omar al-Bashir in April — and the opposition agreed on a three-year transition period and the composition of a parliament. Subsequent talks between the umbrella protest movement Alliance for Freedom and Change and the TMC, however, failed to achieve a breakthrough as the two sides were at odds over the composition of a new governing body and whether it should have a civilian or military majority. Burhan said on Tuesday that the alliance was equally responsible for the delay in coming to a final agreement. The TMC’s decision came after Sudanese troops stormed the main protest camp in Khartoum on Monday, prompting clashes with the protesters, who have been camping out there for months. Opposition-linked medics said more than 35 people were killed in the violence. The protesters have been calling on the TMC to hand over power to a civilian government. The head of Sudan’s junta said he regretted the violence that accompanied what he depicted as “an operation to clean the Nile Street” and pledged an investigation into the deadly incidents. The crackdown drew sharp international criticism, with United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres condemning the use of excessive force by the security forces. Meanwhile, the UN Security Council is expected to hold a closed-door meeting on Tuesday to address the rising tensions in the African country.

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