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Sudan Military Council to start dialogue with political groups

Published: Updated:

The solution to Sudan’s crisis will come from protesters and not the military, the head of the political committee of the transitional Military Council that overthrew President Omar al-Bashir said on Friday.

In a press conference, Lieutenant General Omar Zeinalabdin, the head of the political committee of the transitional Military Council said: ‘‘We are the protectors of the demands of the people and that is by consensus from the political entities.’’

He added: ‘‘We are not greedy for power.’’

He said the Military Council plans to hold a dialogue with the protesters who have been camped out outside the ministry of defense.

Zeinalabdin said that those who killed Sudanese protesters will be put on trial.

He also said that the council ‘‘won’t force anything on the people,’’ and that it wants to create an atmosphere for dialogue.

Zeinalabdin added that the council welcomes dialogue with armed groups to put an end to the crisis.

The Military Council expects a transition period it announced on Thursday to be two years at most, and said it can be as short as one month if it is managed ‘‘without chaos,’’ said Zeinalabdin.

Zeinalabdin said that the former ruling National Congress Party of Sudan’s ousted President Omar al-Bashir will be allowed to compete in planned elections.

But he said that the Military Council will not extradite al-Bashir, but he could be tried in Sudan.

“We, as a Military Council in our term, will not hand the president over abroad. We may try him, but we will not hand him over,” said Omar Zeinalabdin.

The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for al-Bashir for alleged war crimes.

The head of the transitional Military Council, Defense Minister Mohammed Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf, said on Thursday when announcing the overthrow of Omar al-Bashir that the council would lead a two-year transition before holding elections.

(With Reuters)