KHARTOUM – The Transitional Military Council (TMC) and Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) resumed direct talks on Wednesday over the sticking point of the presidency of the transitional Sovereign Council following huge efforts by the mediators to bring the parties to the negotiating table.
On 26 June, the African Union and Ethiopian envoys handed over a nine-page proposal providing to form a sovereign council composed of 15 members. Seven to be designated by the TMC and seven others by the opposition Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC).
The two sides have to agree on a 15th civilian member to make it a civilian-led body. Also, the proposal calls to postpone the formation of the Transitional Legislative Assembly for three months.
The two sides accepted to the civilian majority, but the military council said they want the leadership of collective presidency.
Contrary to the previous rounds of talks, the talks resumed in a hotel in Khartoum and not at the presidency where the military used to receive the opposition negotiators. Also, it was co-chaired by the Ethiopian mediator and the African Union envoy.
Until late on Wednesday, nothing transpired from the meeting. The only thing announced by the Ethiopian Mediator, Mahmoud Dirir, that the two sides accepted the agenda proposed they proposed to the two delegations.
Khaled Omer, the deputy head of the Sudanese Congress Party (SCoP) told Sky News Arabia that the resumption of direct talks took place after being informed by the mediators that all their prerequisites have been accepted by the military junta.
“Based on the last draft agreement made by the mediators, we have demanded that the discussion to be on one issue and to not reopen negotiations on what has been already agreed,” Omer said alluding to the disputed Sovereign Council.
The SCoP official further said they asked the mediation to set a time limit for the negotiations and to include their perquisites in the agenda of the meeting before to join the negotiating table.
“These are our (procedural) demands for the mediation, and they accepted it,” he said.
For the military council, he recalled their demand to release the political detainees adding the mediators demanded a list of their names because the TMC pledged to release them.
“We asked to lift the internet blackout,” he added.
The opposition official recalled their demand to form an independent investigation committee into the killing of civilians after the 11 April 2011, including the massacre of 30 June where over hundred people by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and other security forces. Sudan Tribune