Sudan's leading general said Monday the country's military will withdraw from negotiations meant to solve the ongoing political crisis after a coup last year, allowing civil society representatives to take their place.
In televised statements aired on Sudan’s state television, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan also promised that he will dissolve the sovereign council that he leads after a new transitional government is formed. The council has governed the country since the military took power in a coup last year.
Since the coup, the UN political mission in Sudan, the African Union and the eight-nation east African regional Intergovernmental Authority in Development group have been trying to broker a way out of the political impasse. But talks have yielded no results so far.
Pro-democracy groups have repeatedly said they will not negotiate with the military, and have called for them to immediately hand the reins to a civilian government.
Burhan did not specify any dates or who would replace the military at the negotiating table.
He said that after the ruling council is dissolved, the army and the powerful paramilitary known as the Rapid Support Forces will be placed under a new governing body that will be responsible for the country's defense and security.
Sudan has been plunged into turmoil since the military takeover upended its short-lived transition to democracy after three decades of rule by former president Omar al-Bashir. Bashir and his Islamist-backed government were removed by the military in a popular uprising in April 2019.