Transitional Military Council suspends talks with protesters for 72 hours urging them to dismantle roadblocks in capital Khartoum, after they broke a deal on de-escalation.

Sudanese protesters celebrate after an agreement was reached with the military council to form a three-year transition period for transferring power to a full civilian administration, in Khartoum, early on May 15, 2019.
Sudanese protesters celebrate after an agreement was reached with the military council to form a three-year transition period for transferring power to a full civilian administration, in Khartoum, early on May 15, 2019. (AFP)

Sudan's army ruler General Abdel Fattah al Burhan said that talks with protesters over installing a civil rule have been suspended for 72 hours, in a statement broadcast live on state television on Thursday.

"We decided to suspend the negotiations over civil rule for 72 hours to help prepare an atmosphere for completing the deal," Burhan said, demanding that protesters dismantle roadblocks in Khartoum, open bridges connecting the capital and other regions and "stop provoking security forces".

"The military council has suspended the talks. They asked us to dismantle barricades in parts of the capital," said Rashid al Sayid, a spokesman for the Alliance for Freedom and Change.

He was referring to barricades put up by demonstrators on some key roads that have angered the generals.

"The military council has told us that the protesters must dismantle the barricades and go back to the sit-in" out side the army complex where thousands have camped for weeks, Sayid said.

TRT World's Liz Maddock has more.

At least eight people wounded

Also on Wednesday, at least eight people were wounded by gunshots near a Khartoum sit-in, a spokesman for Sudan's protest movement and a witness said.

Protest leaders responded by urging people to join the demonstrators but to avoid clashes.

"Eight wounded from live bullets so far," Amjad Farid, a spokesman for the umbrella protest group the Alliance for Freedom and Change wrote on Facebook.

A witness told AFP that gunshots had been fired near the protest camp outside army headquarters in central Khartoum.

"There are gunshots in Nile Street and around the sit-in and we are seeing several wounded," said Mohamed Dahab, a volunteer at a field clinic at the protest camp.

New protests

The Sudanese Professionals Association, the group that launched the protest campaign against now-ousted leader Omar al Bashir initially in December, urged people to join the sit-in in support of those who have camped there round-the-clock for weeks.

"We call on everybody to join the sit-in immediately and support the protesters," the SPA, a group of doctors, engineers and teachers, said in a statement.

"We are calling on revolutionaries to restrain themselves, be calm and peaceful and avoid any confrontation or clash with any group whatever the circumstances," it said.

The latest violence comes hours ahead of crucial talks between Sudan's ruling military council and protest leaders, aimed at finalising the make-up of a new body to govern for a three-year transition period.

Source: AFP