Sudan protest leaders to meet military rulers: campaigner

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Protest leaders are to hold talks Saturday with Sudan’s military rulers who have so far resisted calls to transfer power to a civilian administration, two leading figures in the protests told AFP.

“The military council will hold talks with the Alliance for Freedom and Change at 8:00 pm (1800 GMT) today,” said Siddiq Yousef, a senior member of the umbrella group leading the protest movement.

The scheduled talks come a day ahead of plans by protest leaders to announce on Sunday a ruling civilian council that they say will replace the military body.

Another member of the Sudanese Professionals Association that launched the initial campaign against deposed president Omar al-Bashir in December also confirmed that talks will be held later on Saturday.

“Five representatives from the alliance will go today to the military council to discuss with them the transfer of power to a civilian rule,” Ahmed al-Rabia told AFP.

He said if the military rulers refuse to hand over power then the protest leaders will continue with their plans of announcing a “sovereign civilian council” on Sunday.

“If they are willing to negotiate then there is a chance that tomorrow’s announcement could be postponed,” Rabia said.

“What we want from them is a timetable to hand over power, so things don’t drag.”

He said that since the ouster of Bashir the military council has held two rounds of talks with the protest leaders.

“During these talks we have felt that the military council has no desire to hand over power,” Rabia said.