Egypt and representatives from several other African nations agreed on "the need for more time" for Sudanese authorities and political actors "to implement peaceful, organised and democratic transition measures," Egyptian presidency said.
African leaders at an emergency summit in Cairo urged Sudan's military rulers on Tuesday to implement a democratic transition within three months, the Egyptian presidency said.
Egypt and representatives from several other African nations agreed on "the need for more time" for Sudanese authorities and political actors "to implement peaceful, organised and democratic transition measures," it said in a statement.
They also urged the African Union to extend by three months a deadline, currently the end of April, for Sudan's military council to hand power to a civilian authority or face suspension from the regional bloc.
That would partially ease international pressure on the council to hand over to civilian rule.
The army toppled longtime president Omar al Bashir on April 11, but protesters have continued to hold mass rallies demanding a swift transition to a non-military government — calls the council has so far resisted.
Heads of state and senior officials from states including Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda and South Africa took part in the summit.
"We agreed today into the urgent restoration of a constitutional system through a democratic, political transition owned and led by the Sudanese themselves," said Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el Sisi, who currently chairs the AU.
"This is to institute a comprehensively democratic political system and entrench the rule of law" as well as safeguarding human rights, he added.
The summit statement also expressed "the complete support of the African Union and neighbouring countries for Sudan as it faces it political, security and economic challenges."
The participating countries also said they would help Sudan tackle cross-border crime including arms and human trafficking in order to maintain "regional stability."
Fresh protests launched
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 Bashir earlier this month.
Railway workers and other protesters gathered in Atbara, the northern transport hub where the uprising began in December, and traveled by train to the capital to join tens of thousands outside the military headquarters in Khartoum, where protesters have kept up a sit-in since April 6.
Thousands of people poured into the streets to join marches and sit-ins in Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman and in the provinces of Kassala and South Kordofan.
Bashir, who ruled Sudan for 30 years, was forced from office on April 11 after four months of protests led by the Sudanese Professionals Association, a group of private unions that is demanding a full and immediate transfer of power to a civilian council.
The SPA said security forces attempted to break up their gathering outside the military complex and that protesters saw bulldozers moving toward the sit-in. They called for fortifying the barricades around the sit-in.
The SPA suspended talks with the military over the weekend after the military council said it was consulting all of Sudan’s political forces on a path forward.
The protesters accuse the council of failing to make a clean break with Bashir’s deposed government and of trying to marginalise the SPA by depicting it as one of many political factions.
The protesters also say the military council has yet to recognise the Forces of the Declaration of Freedom and Change — a coalition led by the SPA and including other groups — as their representative.
The SPA plans to announce its own civilian transitional council during mass rallies on Thursday.