African Union suspends Sudan until civilian-led authority is established

Sudan: At least 60 pro-democracy protestors killed by Army in Khartoum, says Opposition group

On Thursday the African Union announced it's decision to suspend Sudan's membership due to ongoing political crisis amid violence.

From Ethiopia, the African Union's Peace and Security Council posted on Twitter that Sudan's suspension will remain in effect until "the effective establishment" of a civilian-led transitional authority, "as the only way to allow the Sudan to exit from the current crisis".

The Sudanese Health Ministry said on Thursday that 61 people had been killed in the crackdown but the opposition put the toll at 108.

Sudan's military council seized power in April after ousting longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir on the back of months-long protests against his three-decade rule.

"No support has been found for it among the countries of the region or in the global community, and so it will remain Sudanese until its goals are realised", Faisal said, commenting on recent visits to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt by the country's military rulers.

Eight European countries instead issued their own joint statement criticising "the violent attacks in Sudan by Sudanese security services against civilians".

The council met a day after almost 40 people were killed when security forces ended a weeks-long sit-in outside the army headquarters in Khartoum by protesters demanding an end to military rule.

"These are impossible within the next nine months and if they go ahead with that plan, it will be a sham election", said Dr Abdelati.

Security forces moved in to brutally disperse a protest sit-in on Monday.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was in the capitol of Sudan Friday to hold mediation talks between Sudan's military rulers and opposition leaders.

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"The civil disobedience movement will begin Sunday and end only when a civilian government announces itself in power on state television", the SPA said in a statement.

The raid on Monday marked a pivotal moment in the weeks-long struggle between the powerful TMC and opposition groups over who should lead Sudan's transition to democracy.

At least 18 more were killed in clashes or died of earlier wounds Wednesday, the Doctors Committee said late in the day.

The Sudan Doctors Committee, one of the protest groups, said it was not known where they were taken. "We in the military council, extend our hands to negotiations without shackles except the interests of the homeland", Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of the military council, told state media on Wednesday. Generals objected to protesters' demands that civilians dominate the council.

The Alliance was a key organiser of mass protests since December that led to Bashir's ouster.

The military dissolved the government and said it will oversee a two-year transitional period followed by elections, but this was met with protests on the streets.

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.

The suspension deprives Sudan's ruling military council of worldwide legitimacy, according to Amani Africa, an independent think tank based in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

The motives for Burhan's about-face - if honest - were not immediately clear.

He said: "We have urged restraint from the security forces and we've urged that the government respect all of the basic human rights of the people - including freedom of expression and freedom of assembly". On Tuesday, the protestors rejected the military's offer for talks and accused it of carrying out a massacre.

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