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Ethiopian PM stresses unity amid Sudan mediation efforts

Published: Updated:

The office of Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said that the premiere stressed unity during his efforts to mediate between Sudan’s ruling military and the country’s protest leaders.

The office posted photos of a smiling Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed meeting with leaders of the Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change, a coalition of political groups and parties representing the protesters.

He also held talks earlier Friday with Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, the head of Sudan’s ruling military council, in Khartoum.

Ahmed’s office said the PM stressed that “a prerequisite for restoring peace in Sudan is unity.”

Meanwhile, a leader in Sudan’s protest movement said his group and Ethiopia’s prime minister have exchanged proposals on how to resolve the ongoing conflict with Sudan’s ruling military council.

In an interview with Al Arabiya, the head of the Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change Gaafar Hassan refused to reveal details of the discussion, saying they will be unveiled at a news conference.

Hassan added that Ahmed listened to protesters’ version of the latest deadly developments in Sudan.

Hassan has reiterated the FDFC’s strong objections to holding any “direct” or “indirect” talks with the ruling military council, which took over the country after mass protests drove longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir from power in April.

The visit by the Ethiopian leader comes a day after the African Union continental body, based in Ethiopia, suspended Sudan over this week’s deadly crackdown on protesters.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (L) meets with the chief of Sudan’s ruling military council General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan in Khartoum on June 7, 2019. (AFP)
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (L) meets with the chief of Sudan’s ruling military council General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan in Khartoum on June 7, 2019. (AFP)

Sudanese protest leaders are demanding the dismantling of a paramilitary unit they hold responsible for the violent crackdown on their rallies this week.

The Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change, said in a statement late Thursday that the Rapid Support Forces should be dissolved and their weapons handed over to the army.

The Arab League calls on Sudanese to exercise restraint

The Secretary-General of the Arab League, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, on Friday called on the Sudanese parties to “exercise restraint” and avoid “the abandonment of the peaceful approach” on the transfer of power in the country, following the violence in Khartoum that killed dozens of people.

Aboul Gheit called on “all Sudanese parties to exercise restraint and avoid any actions that would contribute to fueling the situation and escalating it or lead to a deviation from the peaceful approach to complete the process of political transition in the country.”

UAE concerned with ‘massacre’ in Sudan, supports investigation

The United Arab Emirates is concerned about the “massacre” seen in Sudan and supports calls for an investigation, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said on Friday.

The opposition says 113 people were killed in the storming of a civilian protest camp on Monday and a subsequent wider crackdown. The government put the toll at 61 people, including three security personnel.