Sudan army rulers, protesters resume talks over civilian rule

Sudan: Protesters close a main street in Khartoum

Armed groups have killed at least five protesters at a sit-in outside the military headquarters in Khartoum.

Sudan's protest leaders said on Monday they have reached a breakthrough agreement with the country's military rulers on transitional authorities to run the country.

Ex-president Omar al-Bashir has been charged for his role in the deaths of protesters during the rallies that led to his ouster, Sudan's prosecutor general said Monday, as protest leaders announced a deal with the army on a new governing council.

The doctors' committee linked to Sudan's protest movement said a young man had been shot in his chest by "the ousted regime militias who attempted to disperse the Sudanese peoples' sit-in".

The area has also witnessed the deployment of troops from the Sudanese army, and the Rapid Support Forces (an affiliate of the Sudanese military), according to eyewitnesses.

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"We will continue tomorrow with talks on the ratio of participation on the sovereign level ... and the length of the transitional period", he said.

As protest leaders encouraged people to remain at the sit-in, and searches at the entrance were redoubled, crowds chanted: "Prepare your coffin".

Bashir is also wanted by the global criminal court (ICC) on charges of war crimes and genocide linked to the Darfur conflict in the 2000s, but Sudan's ruling military council has said it will not extradite him to the ICC at The Hague.

The renewed talks between the two sides that opened on Monday come after a break in negotiations that saw protest leaders threaten "escalatory measures" to secure their central demand of civilian rule. The country's public prosecutor said Monday that Bashir, 75, had been charged in connection with the deaths of protesters in the first four months of the uprising.

The U.S. Embassy, however, blamed the military council, saying its attempts earlier in the day to remove roadblocks, and its use of tear gas against protesters, led to the violence later that night.

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Following a deadlock in negotiations, the protest alliance on Saturday said the army generals had invited the movement for a new round of talks.

They have singled out its silence on the constitutional position of Islamic sharia law, which was the guiding principle of all legislation under Bashir's rule but is anathema to secular groups like the Sudanese Communist Party and some rebel factions in the alliance.

They were killed in gunfire at a sit-in outside military headquarters where demonstrators are demanding full civilian government.

The clashes erupted after nightfall on Monday, when protests in Sudan usually swell during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which is marked by dawn to dusk fasting.

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