Sudan military council chief ends UAE visit amid meddling warning

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan ends visit to UAE as negotiations between protesters’ movement and army falters.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed received General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan in Abu Dhabi [AP]

The head of Sudan’s military council has concluded a visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) ahead of a general strike called by Sudan’s protest movement demanding the council hand over power to civilians.

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan held talks with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

According to Sudanese news reports, Burhan briefed Crown Prince Mohammed on the latest developments in Sudan, including efforts of the council and political forces to reach solutions to the country’s political crisis. 

Crown Prince Mohammed tweeted that he “affirmed the UAE’s support in preserving Sudan’s security and stability”.

Al-Burhan’s visit to the UAE on Sunday came a day after his meeting in Cairo with Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi .

Egypt has voiced its support for the military council, pressing the African Union not to suspend Sudan’s activities in the regional bloc.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have pledged $3bn in aid to shore up Sudan’s economy.

These two visits come ahead of a general strike called by leaders of the protest movement in Sudan on Tuesday and Wednesday to demand the military council hand over power to a civilian government.

Sudanese opposition and protest groups have warned against meddling in Sudanese politics and seek guarantees that civilians will lead the transition after the removal of President Omar al-Bashir in early April.

Council makeup

Meanwhile, the spokesperson of Sudan’s military council, Shams al-Din Kabashi, said that negotiations with the main opposition group, the Alliance for Freedom and Change, were stuttering.

Speaking to troops in Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman, Kabashi stressed that the council was working on securing the basic needs of citizens throughout Sudan.

Last week, the Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change (FDFC), an umbrella group representing protesters and opposition parties, said it would consult with supporters to discuss possible solutions after negotiations with the military council stalled.

The main point of contention was with regard to the formation of the sovereign council, which is supposed to run the country during the transitional period.

The protesters want a limited military representation and a civilian president of the sovereign council, which the military council rejects. They demand that the members be eight civilians and three soldiers, while the military council wants seven soldiers and four civilians.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies