Western nations urge dialogue over civilian rule in Sudan

KHARTOUM, Apr 15: The United States, Britain and Norway said Sunday it was time for Sudan’s military rulers and other parties to hold talks over the country’s transition to civilian rule.

The three countries said Sudan’s new ruling transitional military council had pledged to transfer power to a civilian government, but the “legitimate change” that the Sudanese people demand had still not happened.

“It is time for the transitional military council and all other parties to enter into an inclusive dialogue to effect a transition to civilian rule,” the embassies of the three countries said in a statement.

“This must be done credibly and swiftly, with protest leaders, political opposition, civil society organisations, and all relevant elements of society, including women.” The three countries also insisted that the continuing peaceful protests “must not be met with violence from any quarter”.

“Sudan needs an orderly transition to civilian rule leading to elections in a reasonable time frame.” The three countries reiterated their call for the release of political prisoners, as it condemned acts of violence by “legacy forces of the former regime”.

Omar al-Bashir, who ruled Sudan with an iron-fist for 30 years, was deposed on Thursday by the army after tens of thousands of people protested for months against his rule, accusing it of mismanaging the economy and corruption.

Meanwhile, Sudan’s ruling military council on Sunday said it had sacked Khartoum’s top envoy to Washington days after the army ouster of veteran leader Omar al-Bashir. The military council has decided to sack Sudan’s charge d’affaires to Washington, Mohamed Atta, the council’s spokesman Lieutenant General Shamseddine Kabbashi told reporters. (AGENCIES)