African Union suspends Sudan
The African Union Peace and Security Council on Thursday took a decision to suspend Sudan from activities of the continental body until the ongoing political crisis is resolved. In a statement issued after a crisis meeting was held, the AU demanded the establishment of a Civilian-led Transitional Authority, saying it was the only way to allow Sudan to exit from the current crisis. The government and the opposition have issued contradictory death tolls from Monday’s raid on a protesters camp in the capital Khartoum. While the opposition says the death toll has surpassed 100, Sudan’s health ministry on Thursday said 61 people were killed. The opposition had been in talks with an interim military council over a civilian-led transition to democracy, but the negotiations faltered and this week’s crackdown marked a turning point in the power struggle. The United Nations and several foreign governments have condemned the bloodshed. Ethiopia to mediate? Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was due to visit Khartoum on Friday to try to mediate between the military and an opposition alliance, a diplomatic source at the Ethiopian embassy in Khartoum said. Online reports state that Abiy would meet members of the Transitional Military Council and the opposition’s Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces during his one-day visit. Ethiopia hosts the headquarters of the African Union but it was not clear if Abiy would be acting under AU auspices. Abiy last month pledged not to interfere in Sudan’s transition process during a visit by the country’s military ruler, General Abdul Fattah Burhan.