Ethiopian PM to visit Sudan as mediator

Ethiopian PM to visit Sudan as mediator

Organizers of the pro-democracy protests in Sudan say the death toll across the country since the violent dispersal of their sit-in in Khartoum earlier this week has increased to 60.

The Transitional Military Council welcomed Abiy's statement and said that it is open to negotiations and ready to come to an agreement at any time.

"Forty bodies of our noble martyrs were recovered from the river Nile yesterday", the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors said in a Facebook post.

A Sudanese official has denied that at least 100 people were killed by a paramilitary unit during protests, saying that the number was at most 46.

Ethiopia meanwhile will launch a mediation effort on Friday, diplomatic sources in Khartoum said.

What is happening in Sudan?

After flying in from Addis Ababa, Abiy Ahmed held separate talks with both sides, days after the worst bloodshed since the military ousted Omar al-Bashir in April to end his three-decade rule.

Some eyewitnesses described seeing RSF members storm Monday's protest, forcing demonstrators to crawl as they whipped them.

"We in the military council extend our hand for negotiations without shackles except the interests of the homeland", its head, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, said on state TV.

"We regret the events", he said, without elaborating. "There were some who were very close to Bashir, others who were moderate, and some who were ambivalent ... but the large scale casualties has triggered a crisis within the TMC", said Abdi.

Sudan's military has faced worldwide condemnation for its attack, but there were clear signs this was likely to happen. That plan is likely a fiction.

"We hope Sudan can maintain stability, smoothly carry out the political transition and get onto the normal track of development as soon as possible", he said. They said the generals can not be serious about talks while troops keep killing protesters. What will not change - in fact what has been deepened - is the alienation of people from their rulers.

On Tuesday, the TMC had called for general elections within seven to nine months in an attempt to appease protesters, but they had refused this approach, descending once again onto the streets, blocking roads and burning tyres.

However, much of Khartoum is under lockdown.

The doctors' committee is the medical arm of the Sudanese Professionals Association, which has been spearheading protests against army rule.

Sixty-four of the dead were counted at hospitals in Khartoum and nearby territories, while four people, including three children, were killed in their homes. Another said members of the Janjaweed had pulled him from his vehicle and beaten him on his head and back.

Since Monday's raid in Khartoum, protest leaders said violent clashes had erupted in other parts of the country. They may continue their attacks [on demonstrators], putting themselves at the same level of the recently deposed rulers - which will lead to an inevitable confrontation with the protesting people in the country.

"They were firing randomly", said the 25-year-old protester, also speaking anonymously for fear there could be reprisals.

Two local residents told The Daily Telegraph they had seen RSF troops beat, rob, and forcibly cut the hair of civilians they had stopped to question.

Sudan is a partner to a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates fighting in Yemen against rebels linked to Iran, a regional rival of Riyadh.

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