US, AU seek diplomatic solution to Sudan’s political crisis

Diplomats from the United States and the African Union have intensified pressure on Sudan’s Transitional Military Council that is currently trying to resolve a standoff with protesters.

The diplomatic push comes after the umbrella body for Sudanese protest groups, the Forces for Freedom and Change, said it will only restart talks with the ruling junta in the presence of a third party.

Since the fall of the country’s strongman Omar al-Bashir in April, protesters are demanding civilian rule.

A leader of the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF), Khalid Omar Yousef, told Reuters the military “regime will fall no matter what”, and suggested the protest movement would escalate.

He said head of the Transitional Military Council (TMC) Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan had not “learned from the lessons of history”.

Several parts of the capital city suffered electricity cuts early on Thursday, while internet services remained erratic.

The Sudanese Professionals Association, SPA, one of the main groups under the protest leadership in the country has alleged that there is an active plot by the TMC to break up sit-ins in parts of the country.

AU Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat told reporters after meeting Monday with U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres there is no question of sustaining the military council that assumed power after al-Bashir’s ouster, saying, “it is not acceptable”.

Washington and the AU, who have consistently pushed for civilian-led rule following Bashir’s ouster, stepped up efforts to find a solution Thursday.

Washington’s newly appointed special envoy to Sudan Donald Booth, along with US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Tibor Nagy, met with the TMC head on Thursday.

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