Sudanese man shot dead during protest as sides wrangle over transition
15/07/2019 10:10, Khartoum/Sudan

(TAP) - Paramilitary forces backed by Sudan's ruling military council fired at protesters in the southeastern state of Sennar on Sunday, witnesses said, and one man died of a shot to the head, according to opposition medics.

The killing occurred with the military council and civilian opposition wrangling over final details of a power-sharing agreement ahead of elections after veteran autocrat Omar al-Bashir was toppled in a coup following weeks of mass protests.

"The spirit of the martyr Anwar Hassan Idris was lifted in the city of al-Suki, Sennar state, after he was wounded by a bullet to the head by the Janjaweed militia," the opposition-linked Sudan Doctors' Committee said in a statement.

A number of protesters, who were rallying against the use of violence by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) to quell demonstrations, were wounded in the incident and some were in critical condition, it said.

The RSF did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The RSF grew out of Arab militias accused of committing atrocities in the western state of Darfur. The RSF commander, who is also deputy head of the military council, has denied the allegations.

In the capital Khartoum, military rulers and a coalition of protesters and opposition groups continued to haggle over the draft of a final constitutional declaration that is to organise a transition period to free elections and civilian rule.

The two sides had reached a broad agreement on power sharing during a transitional period but were still discussing some details, including the powers of a sovereign council comprised of civilians and military officers.

The Transitional Military Council is also demanding immunity for its members from prosecution in connection with bloodshed committed before the accord.

The two sides were scheduled to meet on Sunday evening, but an opposition leader said his side requested a 48-hour delay for consultations, state news agency SUNA reported. A new meeting is now expected on Tuesday.

The rally in al-Suki, 340 km (201 miles) southeast of Khartoum, was held to protest at violence by the RSF, which is accused of killing at least 128 people in a raid on a protest sit-in in Khartoum on June 3 and in subsequent attacks.

The military council has confirmed at least 61 deaths.

Long-stalled talks between the military council and the opposition Forces for Freedom and Change collapsed after the violent dispersal of the sit-in. But direct talks revived after mediation efforts by the African Union and Ethiopia.

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