Sudan’s opposition alliance, the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces said on Friday it accepted Ethiopian Prime minister Abiy Ahmed’s call to return to dialogue with the Transitional Military Council but under certain conditions.
Some of the coalition’s demands are that the army take responsibility for Monday’s deadly attack on a protest camp, and the release of political prisoners.
“The Declaration of Freedom and Change has issued a set of fundamental conditions before entering into any detailed negotiations regarding the political procedures. These include the following. Firstly, the necessary acknowledgement by the (Transitional) Military Council of the crimes committed. Secondly, the formation of a national investigative committee into the dispersal of the sit-in. Thirdly, the release of political detainees and war prisoners, as well as all those arrested on the basis of opposing the previous regime. (Fourthly), allowing public freedoms, as well as freedom of the press. (Fifthly), the removal of the block imposed on the Sudanese people, by withdrawing military representations off the streets throughout all regions of Sudan,” said Omar al Dakir, head of the Sudan Communist Party (SCP).
In what is likely to irritate protestors, Sudanese security forces on Friday arrested two opposition figures shortly after they met with Abiy.
Opposition figure Mohamed Esmat and a leader of the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), Ismail Jalab are being held by security forces. An SPLM-N spokesperson confirmed Jalaba’s arrest.
Esmat and Jalab are both leading members of the Freedom and Change alliance, which brings together opposition parties and groups with the organisers of the mass protests that have gripped Sudan since December last year.
Abiy spent Friday in Sudan’s capital, meeting with a coalition of political groups and parties representing protesters. He also met the members of the military council.
Following Monday’s crackdown, the African Union suspended Sudan’s membership from the bloc. On Tuesday, the protestors rejected the military’s offer for talks and accused it of carrying out a massacre.