African bloc suspends Sudan demanding end to military rule

China, Russia Block UN Action on Sudan as Western Powers Denounce Election Plan

Washington on June 5 called on Sudan's military rulers to "desist from violence" and urged talks with protesters to resume, after doctors said 108 people had been killed in a crackdown.

The announcement followed an emergency meeting by the AU in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, after the violent dispersal of a protest camp in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, began on Monday, Al Jazeera reports.

The African Union on Thursday suspended Sudan until the establishment of a civilian transitional administration, intensifying global pressure on the military leadership.

"An employer at the civil aviation authority was also shot dead by the RSF after he refused to break up a strike by civil aviation employees since Tuesday", it added.

It marks the latest clashes between security forces and pro-democracy protesters in Sudan.

The committee said the Rapid Support Forces took the bodies to an unknown location. On Wednesday, troops were seen pulling 40 bodies of victims, slain by Sudanese security forces, from the Nile River in Khartoum and taking them away.

In a strongly worded statement the AU said it deplored the loss of innocent lives in recent days in Sudan and called for the military and security forces to ensure the full protection of civilians and respect for human rights and freedoms.

Calling for the "overthrow of the military junta", they urged demonstrators to return to the streets for Eid al-Fitr prayers, marking the end of Ramadan, to honour those killed on Monday and to "demonstrate peacefully" in a nation-wide "civil disobedience" protest. The attack on the camp was led by a notorious paramilitary unit called the Rapid Support Forces, along with other troops who waded into the camp, opening fire and beating protesters.

"By ordering these attacks, the Transitional Military Council has put the transition process and peace in Sudan in jeopardy", Washington, London and Oslo, which are active on Sudan, said in a joint statement. Witnesses said protesters had retreated to residential areas where they were building barricades and burning tyres.

The main protest organizers, the Sudanese Professionals Association, called for an worldwide committee to investigate the deaths in what it branded a "massacre".=.

The committee said it held "the militias of the (military) council... responsible for this massacre". It is opposed to early elections which, if indeed they are held, would likely be rigged and/or dominated by ousted dictator President Omar al-Bashir's National Congress Party (NCP), the only organised political party with the resources to mount an election campaign.

Sudanese authorities admitted dozens were killed when security forces stormed the long-running sit-in.

Worldwide condemnation of the crackdown was swift and on Wednesday Gen Burhan made another televised speech in which he said the TMC was willing to resume negotiations.

Negotiations between the military rulers and protest leaders broke down over disagreements on whether a planned transitional body would be headed by a civilian or a military figure.

Heavily deployed in the streets of the capital, some residents seemed wary of the paramilitaries as they moved around the streets.

The UAE has said it is watching developments in Sudan with "great concern" and claims to support the continuation of a dialogue between the different parties, the foreign ministry said on Thursday, echoing earlier sentiments made by ally Saudi Arabia.



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