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Sudan military says 3 members of ruling council resign

In this Tuesday, April 23, 2019, photo, Sudanese protesters crowd a train in the capital Khartoum. Sudanese activists were holding nationwide protests on Tuesday to press the military to hand over power to a civilian authority after the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir earlier this month.(AP Photo)

KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) — Sudan’s ruling military council said three of its members resigned Wednesday amid heightened tensions with the organizers of protests that toppled President Omar al-Bashir after three decades in power.

The announcement came after generals met with leaders of an opposition group that had suspended talks over the weekend while accusing the military of failing to make a clean break with al-Bashir’s regime.

The Sudanese Professionals Association and its allies, which organized the four months of escalating demonstrations that led the military to remove al-Bashir from power April 11, returned to the talks a day before planned mass rallies.

The association had said before the meeting that it would announce its own transitional governing council Thursday, but it was unclear if that plan had changed. A spokesman for the group, Sarah Abdel-Jaleel, said she could not provide details on what was discussed at the meeting.

A military spokesman, Lt. Gen. Shamseldin Kibashi, said after the meeting that Lt. Gen. Omar Zain al-Abdin, the council’s chief negotiator, and two officers on a council-affiliated political committee, submitted their resignations. He identified the other two as Lt. Gen. Jalal el-Din el-Sheikh, deputy head of the infamous National Intelligence and Security Services, and Gen. el-Tayeb Babiker, the county’s police chief.

The Sudanese Professionals Association had said that Zain al-Abdin was the head of al-Bashir’s party within the military and was “trying to bring back the deposed regime.”

The spokesman said the military council agreed with the protest leaders to create a joint committee to tackle the political disputes.

The military council has said it is in talks with all Sudan’s political parties to name a prime minister and civilian government to run the country for two years.

The Sudanese Professionals Association has instead called for the formation of a legislative council in which at least 40 percent of the members would be women. It would draft laws and oversee a Cabinet of technocrats until a new constitution is written.

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Associated Press writer Fay Abuelgasim reported this story in Khartoum and AP writer Samy Magdy reported from Cairo.

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