Abiy headed to Sudan on Friday morning

Abiy in Sudan as AU Suspends Sudan Membership

ADDIS ABEBA – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is in Khartoum to broker talks between the ruling generals and protest leaders a day after the African Union suspends Sudan’s membership from the pan African bloc.

The bloc said the suspension will continue until there is a civilian rule in the country that witnessed this week the worst violence since Omar al-Bashir’s fall in April on Monday.

Prime Minister Abiy met with the Chief of the Sudanese Transitional Military Council, Lt. Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, on Friday morning, said Ethiopia’s PM office.

Abiy also held similar talks with leaders of the main opposition group, the Alliance for Freedom and Change, in a bid to restart talks between the Transitional Military Council and the protesters.

To members of the main opposition group named Forces for Freedom and Change, he expressed Ethiopia’s “commitment to fostering peace in the region and underlined that a prerequisite for restoring peace in Sudan is unity”.

These discussions are being held as part of mediation efforts underway by Prime Minister Abiy, according to his office.

The oppositions and the council had been in talks over a civilian-led transition to democracy. But their negotiations faltered after security forces broke up protests on Monday.

The opposition says 108 people died in Monday’s violence, but Sudan’s Health Ministry put the toll at 61, according to the BBC. That followed widespread condemnation of the bloodshed from the United Nations, African Union and the West.

The Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces opposition alliance said it was not ready for more dialogue and demanded that the military handover power.

“The coup council and anyone involved in its crimes since April 11 must be held accountable,” it added in a statement.