Sudan's military council stresses importance of partnership with opposition alliance

Sudanese protesters march during a demonstration to commemorate the 40 days anniversary of the sit-in massacre in Khartoum North Sudan

Sudan's military council stresses importance of partnership with opposition alliance

Reporters found evidence that the attack on protesters last month was carried out on the orders of the country's top leadership and was planned in advance.

In the meantime, the African Union mediating team that sponsors power-sharing talks between the ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) and opposition alliance of Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) said dialogue between the two sides was in its final stages.

Lt. Gen. Gamal Omar, a member of Sudan's military council, said the coup attempt took place late Thursday, just days after the military and the pro-democracy coalition had agreed to the joint sovereign council. "Their number is 12 and now they are under arrest and we will hunt down the others who were involved in the failed attempt, including the head of the coup attempt".

Bashir himself seized power in a military coup in 1989. In 2009, he became the first sitting head of state to be indicted for war crimes, for allegedly directing a campaign of mass killing, rape, and pillage against civilians in Darfur.

Saturday's rallies - dubbed "Justice First" - came as the protest movement urged supporters to take to the streets. He did not release the names of those arrested, however he added that "others will be arrested, including the leader of the foiled coup attempt".

Six vehicles belonging to the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), each carrying about six men armed with assault rifles and sticks, drove through a portion of Sitteen Street as protesters chanted "Civilian!" at them, a Reuters witness said.

Sudan's military rulers did not indicate when the coup attempt happened, but claimed it was orchestrated to derail their power-sharing agreement with the Freedom and Change Movement that has been pushing for a strong civilian presence in a proposed new administration.

Intense mediation by African Union and Ethiopian mediators finally led to the agreement reached on the new joint governing body on July 5.

Sudan or the Sudan, officially the Republic of the Sudan, is a country in Northeast Africa. The capital is Khartoum, located at the confluence of the Blue and White Nile.

"The fate of the former regime, to us, until now, is vague and many things are unclear", said Osama Iskandar, a young protester, referring to the government of Omar al-Bashir, who was overthrown by the military on April 11. The sit-in followed the collapse of talks between the military and demonstrators in May.

The agreement stipulates that the new governing body will be presided over by a military nominee for the first 21 months, and by a civilian for the last 18 months. At least 11 people were killed in clashes with security forces, according to protest organizers.

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