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Violence overshadows Sudan talks.

Summary: Sudan's opposition alliance blamed military rulers Tuesday for renewed street violence complicating efforts to negotiate a handover to civilian power

KHARTOUM: Sudan's opposition alliance blamed military rulers Tuesday for renewed street violence complicating efforts to negotiate a handover to civilian power after last month's overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir. At least five people died and dozens were wounded during protests Monday as the Transitional Military Council and opposition Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces said they had reached a partial agreement for transition.

Gunfire rang out in the capital into the night after paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, whose head is deputy of the military council, had patrolled the streets using tear gas and guns to disrupt demonstrations.

The protesters, who want to keep pressure on the military for a swift handover, were back Tuesday, blocking roads and bridges with bricks and rocks, images on social media showed.

"The bullets that were fired yesterday were Rapid Support Forces bullets and we hold the military council responsible for what happened yesterday," Khalid Omar Youssef, a senior figure in the DFCF, told a news conference.

"While they claimed that a third party was the one who did so, eyewitnesses confirmed that the party was in armed forces vehicles and in armed forces uniforms, so the military council must reveal this party."

Monday's fatalities were the first in protests for several weeks after months of demonstrations led to Bashir's fall. The victims included a military police officer and four demonstrators, state TV said.

The TMC, which took over after ousting the long-ruling Bashir last month, blamed the violence on saboteurs unhappy with the transition deal. "There are groups ambushing the revolution who were disturbed by the results reached today and are working to abort any agreement," it said in a statement late Monday.

The opposition and TMC met again Tuesday to discuss two sticking points: the military-civilian balance of power in transitional bodies, and the time frame for elections.

Talks would wrap up Wednesday, Youssef said.

The U.S. backed the opposition alliance in pinning the blame for Monday's chaos on the military for trying to remove roadblocks set up by protesters.

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Geographic Code:6SUDA
Date:May 15, 2019
Words:375
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