Protest leaders in Sudan have agreed to suspend a civil disobedience campaign launched after a bloody crackdown on demonstrators and resume negotiations with the country’s ruling generals on the formation of a transitional sovereign council, an Ethiopian envoy has said.
Speaking to reporters in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, Mahmoud Drir said the Transitional Military Council (TMC) had also agreed to release political prisoners as a goodwill gesture, without giving details.
“The Freedom and Change alliance agreed to end the civil disobedience (campaign) from today,” said Drir, who has been mediating since a visit by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed last week.
“Both sides have also agreed to resume talks soon” on a handover of power to a civilian administration, he added.
The protest movement itself said in a statement that it was calling on people “to resume work from Wednesday” until further notice, though it encouraged people to remain mobilised for possible further action.
There was no immediate comment by the TMC.
Commenting on the announced talks between the two sides, Al Jazeera’s Mohammed Vall said negotiations were going to be “tough”.
“The main sticking point is who is going to lead the transitional sovereign council – is it military majority or civilian majority?”
He added: “It is going to take time before they agree.”
Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed begins mediation talks in Sudan (2:24)
Protest leaders launched the nationwide general strike from Sunday after a June 3 crackdown on a weeks-long sit-in had left scores of people dead.
Doctors close to the protest movement say at least 118 people have been killed since the crackdown at the protest camp, the demonstrators’ focal point in their weeks-long struggle for civilian rule. The health ministry acknowledges that 61 people were killed on June 3 across Sudan, including 49 by “live ammunition” in the capital.
Thousands of protesters had camped for weeks outside the army headquarters in Khartoum demanding that the TMC step down and hand power to a civilian-led administration.
The generals seized power after the military overthrew longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir on April 11 following months of nationwide protests against his three-decade authoritarian rule.
Al Jazeera and news agencies