Sudan protesters want civil disobedience to pressure army
Pro-democracy protest leaders on Saturday called on Sudanese to take part in acts of civil disobedience in a bid to pressure the military to hand over power right after Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's visit on Friday. 
Talks between the ruling generals and the protest leaders were almost dead due to the deadly break-up of protesters' main sit-in outside the military's headquarters in the capital Khartoum on Monday.
At least 113 people have been killed and more than 500 wounded since Monday. At least 40 bodies have been pulled from the Nile River in Khartoum and taken away by security forces since the violence erupted, said the Sudan Doctors' Central Committee, one of the protest groups. 
The Sudanese Professionals' Association (SPA), which spearheaded protests that led the army to oust President Omar al-Bashir, said it accepted Ahmed as a mediator to resume negotiations with the military council but had a set of conditions before returning to the negotiating table.
Those conditions included establishing an independent internationally-backed body to investigate violence since al-Bashir was ousted by the military on April 11 and hold those responsible accountable. 
The leading protest group also called for the release of all political prisoners and said mediation should focus on the transfer of power to a civilian-led authority.
The Ethiopian initiative focused on restoring all previous deals between the military council and the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF), an alliance representing the protesters in the negotiations, said Mohammed Yousef al-Mustafa, a spokesman for SPA. Yet Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, the head of the military council, had said earlier this week that all previous deals would be canceled.
Those deals include a three-year transition period, a Cabinet formed by the protesters and a legislative body with a majority DFCF. Both sides, however, were split over the makeup and leader of the sovereign council that would run the country during the transition.
In an escalation, the SPA said the civil disobedience will begin Sunday and last until the military council hands over power to civilians.
Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed walks to make his speech during the inauguration ceremony of Djibouti International Free Trade Zone (DIFTZ), Djibouti, July 5, 2018. /VCG Photo

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed walks to make his speech during the inauguration ceremony of Djibouti International Free Trade Zone (DIFTZ), Djibouti, July 5, 2018. /VCG Photo

Rebel leaders arrested after meeting Ethiopia PM
Two rebel leaders were arrested by Sudanese security forces early on Saturday, shortly after meeting visiting Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who is trying to mediate in a crisis threatening a transition to democracy.
Ismail Jallab, secretary general of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), and the armed group's spokesman Mubarak Ardol, were detained a few hours after their Friday meeting with Abiy, said the Sudanese Congress party. 
Abiy had on Friday urged Sudan's military rulers and civilian opposition to exercise “bravery” in trying to agree on steps toward democracy after the worst bloodshed since the overthrow in April of President Omar al-Bashir.
The Ethiopian premier visited days after Sudanese forces stormed a protest camp outside the Defense Ministry in Khartoum where demonstrators were demanding civilian rule and dozens were killed afterward. 
While no breakthrough was announced at the end of Abiy's one-day visit, state news agency SUNA said the ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) thanked Ethiopia on Saturday for its mediation efforts.
The British ambassador in Khartoum, Irfan Siddiq, condemned the arrests and called for the military council to release them.
(Cover photo: Sudanese demonstrators gather in a street in central Khartoum after one of Africa's longest-serving presidents Omar al-Bashir was toppled by the army, Sudan, April 11, 2019. /VCG Photo)
Source(s): AP ,Reuters