Friday talks with Sudan army rulers postponed: protest leaders

The two Sudanese sides initialed “Political Declaration” which aimed to create a joint civilian-military ruling body on Wednesday. (File/AFP)
Updated 19 July 2019

Friday talks with Sudan army rulers postponed: protest leaders

  • One of the protest leaders said they need more consultation to reach a united vision
  • The Friday talks were for the two sides in Sudan to finalize a “Constitutional Declaration”

KHARTOUM: Sudanese protest leaders told AFP Friday talks with the country’s army rulers have been postponed, just days after the two sides signed a power sharing deal.
“The talks have been postponed,” said prominent protest leader Omar Al-Digeir.
“We need more internal consultation to reach a united vision,” he added, with no new date set for negotiations to resume.
Another protest leader, Siddig Youssef, also confirmed the talks had been suspended.
On Wednesday, the two sides initialled a “Political Declaration” that aims to form a joint civilian-military ruling body, which in turn would install an overall transitional civilian administration for a period of 39 months.
At Friday’s talks the two sides were to finalize a “Constitutional Declaration” to thrash out crucial remaining issues.
They include whether to give immunity to generals accused of being behind violence against protesters, the formation of a transitional parliament and the role of paramilitaries.
However, protest leaders said that the three rebel groups that are part of the umbrella protest movement had expressed reservations over Wednesday’s deal.
“I’m going to Addis Ababa to meet the Sudan Revolutionary Front to get their opinion,” Digeir said, referring to the rebel groups currently based in Ethiopia.
“They are not happy with” the agreement signed with army leaders, Youssef said.
The groups had been fighting government forces for years in the war-torn regions of Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan.
Sources close to negotiations told AFP that these groups have demanded that the “Constitutional Declaration” specify that peace negotiations in the three conflict zones would be a top priority for the new transitional government.
Once such a peace deal is finalized, sources said the rebel groups want their representatives to be part of the transitional government.
They also called for the extradition from Sudan of those accused by the Hague-based International Criminal Court of a litany of crimes, including ousted leader Omar Al-Bashir.


Oman’s ruler back home after medical checkup in Belgium

Updated 13 December 2019

Oman’s ruler back home after medical checkup in Belgium

  • Sultan Qaboos has ruled Oman since he succeeded his father in 1970
  • The sultan has no known successor for his throne in Oman

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: Oman’s 79-year-old ruler has returned to his sultanate after traveling to Belgium for a medical checkup, the sultanate’s state-run news agency reported Friday.

Sultan Qaboos bin Said left “for some medical checks that will take a limited period, God willing,” the Oman News Agency reported a week earlier, citing a royal court statement. A similar royal statement announced his return, without elaborating.

Bin Said has taken medical trips abroad in the past. The sultan has ruled Oman since he succeeded his father in 1970. He has no known successor for his throne in Oman, a country on the eastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula that’s home to some 4.6 million people.