Sudan military rulers invite protest leaders to meeting

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Sudan’s ruling military council said on Wednesday it has invited protest leaders for a meeting later in the day, as demonstrators press it to cede power to a civilian government.

“The military council invites the leaders of the Alliance for Freedom and Change to a meeting at the presidential palace this evening,” a statement from the military body said.

In a follow-up statement, the council said it acknowledged the role of the alliance in “initiating the revolution and leading the movement in a peaceful way until the toppling of the regime” of long-time leader Omar al-Bashir.

“The council is hoping that the outcome of the meeting ... will lead to resuming of talks with this umbrella group concerning the future of our homeland.”

Earlier in a press conference, a senior opposition leader said protest leaders were prepared to meet directly with the head of the military council General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

“We are ready to talk with the chief of the military council and I think the issue can be solved through dialogue,” Omar el-Digeir told reporters.

On Sunday the protest leaders announced they had suspended talks with the military council, accusing it of being an “extension of the regime” put in place by Bashir.

The army toppled Bashir on April 11 after months of widespread protests against his iron-fisted rule.

Thousands of protesters have massed outside the army’s headquarters in central Khartoum, demanding that the new military leaders hand over power to a civilian administration.