© Ashraf Shazly

 

KHARTOUM, Sudan - A crackdown early this month by Sudan's military rulers against protesters demanding civilian rule left dozens dead and prompted an international outcry.

With the two sides agreeing Tuesday to resume talks after a bitter standoff, here is a look at how events unfolded.

- Talks break down -

On April 20, the military council that ousted autocratic president Omar al-Bashir nine days earlier begins talks with leaders of a nationwide anti-government protest movement that erupted in December.

READ: Why Sudan's deadly crackdown on protesters could escalate in coming weeks[1]

The protest leaders are demanding a transition to a civilian government following Bashir's three decades in power.

The on-off talks break down on May 20 over the composition of a new governing body to oversee a three-year transition to civilian rule.

A key sticking point is whether the body should be headed by the military or a civilian.

On May 28-29, thousands of workers in the public and private sectors strike across the country to pressure the military rulers.

- Bloody crackdown -

Military council chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan visits Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates in late May to shore up support.

The three regional powers throw their weight behind the Sudanese military for fear of a repeat of the turbulence that followed the Arab Spring in several countries in 2011.

On June 3, troops and paramilitaries move in on protesters who have been camped outside the army headquarters in Khartoum since April 6. 

Using brutal force, they disperse the thousands gathered there, launching a crackdown that lasts several days.

More than 110 people are killed and hundreds wounded, says a committee of doctors close to the demonstrators.

READ: Some shops open but residents wary as Sudan strike ends[2]

The health ministry later acknowledges 61 deaths nationwide, 52 of them from "live ammunition" in Khartoum. Doctors later revise their toll to around 120.

Rapid Support Forces personnel, militia originating from the 16-year-old war in the western region of Darfur, are accused of carrying out atrocities, including attacks on hospitals.

Protesters denounce a putsch as the international community demands an end to the violence and renewed dialogue.

On June 4 Burhan announces that all previous agreements with protest leaders on a transition are scrapped.

However on June 5 the military says it is open to negotiations "with no restriction". Protest leaders refuse.

- Ethiopian mediation -

The African Union suspends Sudan on June 6 and demands the establishment of a civilian-led transition authority to resolve the crisis.

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, a key regional leader, visits Khartoum on June 7 on a reconciliation mission.

He meets both sides separately, urging "quick steps towards a democratic and consensual transitional period".

Protest leaders insist that the ruling military council has to admit "the crime it committed".

On June 8, key protest group, the Sudanese Professionals Association, announces a nationwide "civil disobedience" campaign until the generals transfer power.

- Three days of 'disobedience' -

On June 9 the campaign gets under way with protesters building roadblocks, and markets and shops closing in several towns and cities.

In the capital, riot police fire gunshots in the air and tear gas before clearing the makeshift barriers.

READ: Sudan president Omar al-Bashir steps down[3]

Four people are killed in clashes - two in Khartoum and two in Omdurman, just across the Nile river.

On the second day, authorities say they have released three prominent rebels arrested during the crackdown. 

But one of them, speaking to AFP at a hotel in Juba, says the three have been forcibly deported to South Sudan.

Landline internet connections are cut across Khartoum and other cities and towns for several hours.

As the campaign pushes into a third day on June 11, an Ethiopian mediator who remained in place after the prime minister's intervention announces talks will resume "soon".

The protest organisers call on people to resume work and on June 12 shops begin to reopen in what appears to be a slow return to normality. 

Source http://www.bing.com/news/apiclick.aspx?ref=FexRss&aid=&tid=126FCE2A125D4D2B898C81B95180B796&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.msn.com%2Fen-za%2Fnews%2Fother%2Fsudan-from-brutal-crackdown-to-planned-talks%2Far-AACOXbl&c=7370822352123155315&mkt=en-ca

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