Sudan’s military and opposition groups have agreed to resume talks on the formation of a transitional council, an Ethiopian envoy said on Tuesday, as an opposition alliance said it was suspending its campaign of civil disobedience and strikes.
Sudan’s Transitional Military Council also agreed to release political prisoners as a confidence-building measure, special envoy Mahmoud Dirir told reporters in Khartoum.
The steps appeared to show a softening of positions after talks between the two sides collapsed following the violent dispersal of a protest sit-in on June 3.
The crackdown, in which dozens of people were killed, dealt a big setback to hopes of a transition toward democratic elections following the overthrow of veteran leader Omar al-Bashir in April.
The Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF) alliance on Sunday began an open-ended strike that brought much activity in Khartoum to a standstill.
The alliance said in a statement it would suspend the strike from Wednesday until further notice, though it encouraged people to remain mobilized for possible further action.
Opposition leader Khaled Omar struck a cautious note, saying in comments to Al Hadath TV that the suspension of the campaign was “not tied to any specific political developments”.
Yasir Arman, one of three officials from the southern SPLM-N rebel movement who were detained and then deported to South Sudan after the breakdown of talks, said the military council did not want to cede power.
“My experience in Khartoum is that the military council wanted to divide the oppositions, to have a deal with them that will keep them in power,” Arman told Reuters in Juba a day after saying he had been tied up and flown out of Khartoum on a military helicopter.
In a statement on Tuesday, the United Nations Security Council called on all parties “to continue working together toward a consensual solution to the current crisis.”