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Sudan civilians reject army’s ‘tactical retreat’, urge more protests

Sudan's main civilian bloc, the Forces for Freedom and Change, Tuesday rejected a proposal by the country's coup leader to make way for civilian rule and urged more protests. Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, whose power grab last October ousted the FFC, had vowed Monday to "make room" for civilian powers to form a new…

Sudan’s military ruler, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, has reacted angrily to criticism from civilians in the transitional government of the army’s continuing hold on the economy PHOTO: AFP<br />

Sudan’s main civilian bloc, the Forces for Freedom and Change, Tuesday rejected a proposal by the country’s coup leader to make way for civilian rule and urged more protests.

Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, whose power grab last October ousted the FFC, had vowed Monday to “make room” for civilian powers to form a new transition government.

But the FFC labelled Burhan’s move a “tactical retreat and a transparent manoeuvre”.

It said the offer was “the result of sustained popular resistance” and urged sustained peaceful demonstrators to “compel the regime to step down”.

It argued that a “democratic civil authority” must be “built upon its ruins”.

FFC leader Taha Othman said “the coup leader’s speech is a giant ruse, even worse than the October 25 coup.

“The crisis will end with the coup leaders resigning and the forces of the revolution forming a civil government.”

Hundreds of protesters continued Tuesday a six-day sit-in protest, despite Burhan’s offer made in a televised address Monday night.

Sceptical of the coup leader’s promises, demonstrators in Khartoum have erected barricades, demanding an end to Burhan’s rule.

“We have not and will not be part of a discussion about sharing power,” Sadiq al-Mahdi of the influential Umma party told reporters.

The FFC and the Umma had so far refused to take part in talks with military leaders, launched under international auspices in an effort to restore the transition to civilian rule.

Burhan said Monday the military would no longer participate in the talks facilitated by the United Nations, African Union and the regional IGAD bloc.

He said the army wanted instead “to make room for political and revolutionary forces and other national factions” to form a civilian government.