Sudan's military rulers and protesters to hold 'decisive talks'

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Sudan's military rulers and protesters to hold 'decisive talks'

Sudan's military rulers have invited organisers of anti-government demonstrations to hold new talks on handing over power to a civilian administration, the protest movement said, after weeks of deadlock over the make-up of an interim governing body.

The invitation on Saturday came days after Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF), an umbrella group comprising several opposition parties and civil society groups, threatened to up the ante and launch a civil disobedience movement.

Talks on the protesters' key demand for a civilian-led authority to oversee the country's transition remain at a stalemate, a month after the military removed President Omar al-Bashir in the face of mass protests. 

The DFCF wants a transitional body led by civilians to steer a four-year transition, while the ruling military council has indicated that it wants to retain overall control of any joint military and civilian sovereign body.

In a statement on Saturday, the group said it received a call from the military council to resume negotiations.

"We have identified the points of contention with the military and … decisive talks will revolve around them in each meeting," it said, adding: "We want to hold the talks quickly and sort out all these points in 72 hours."

Last month, the protest movement handed plans to the military for an interim government structure, which outlined the duties of a transitional council, a cabinet and a 120-member legislature.

The military council said it generally agreed with the proposal, but said it wants Islamic laws and local norms to guide the country's new legal framework.