Sudan’s leader has said the army will withdraw from ongoing political talks, eight months after the military seized power in a coup.
In a televised speech, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said the withdrawal would allow political and revolutionary groups to form a transitional government.
He made the announcement on Monday evening after nine people died on Thursday during protests against his military leadership.
The ruling sovereign council, led by Gen Al-Burhan, will also be dissolved when a new government is formed, he added.
In October the army seized power, replacing a transitional government that had been formed to organise elections after the toppling of President Omar al-Bashir in 2019.
Revolutionary and civilian opposition groups have refused to negotiate with the military in mediation efforts by the United States, United Nation and the African Union.
On Thursday, thousands marched in rallies across the country calling for the peaceful transfer of power to civilian authority. Nine people were shot dead and hundreds more injured, driving the death toll from the military coup on October 25 to 113.
Demonstrations continued over the weekend and sit-ins have burgeoned across the country. Hundreds gathered in front of Al-Jowda hospital in the capital Khartoum, where dozens of injured protesters are being treated.
Yassir Abdullah, managing editor of the Al-Sudani newspaper, said: “Al-Burhan’s speech has opened a tap. More protesters are pouring into the streets to join the ongoing sit-ins. He has confirmed that their resistance is impactful and that the military could actually leave the political arena.”
Shortly after Gen Al-Burhan’s speech, security forces mobilised to disperse sit-ins in the capital.
Mr Abdullah added: “Those on the streets don’t trust the military – they’ve announced their withdrawal before.”