Protesters suspend talks with military

The organizers of Sudan’s protests said Sunday that they have suspended talks with the ruling military council because it has failed to meet their demands for an immediate transfer to a civilian government following the overthrow of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

Mohammed al-Amin Abdel Aziz, a spokesman for the Sudanese Professionals Association, said the political committee of the military council is too close to Bashir, who has been jailed in the capital, Khartoum.

“The military council is delaying its response to our proposals, saying that they are considering proposals from all political forces,” the spokesman said.

He said the SPA is calling for more protests and repeated its demand for an immediate transfer to a transitional civilian government that would rule for four years.

The SPA led four months of protests that eventually ended Bashir’s 30-year reign, which was marred by armed conflicts and widespread corruption.

The military overthrew Bashir on April 11 and has appointed the military council, which says it will rule for up to two years while elections are organized.

Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of the military council, told state TV on Sunday that the council is “ready to hand over power tomorrow to a civilian government agreed by political forces.”

He said the military is waiting for the various political factions behind the protests to submit the names of the proposed members of a transitional government.

— Associated Press


Citizenship restored for 551 convicted in trials

Bahrain’s king on Sunday reinstated the citizenship of 551 people convicted and stripped of their nationality in mass trials conducted as part of a years-long crackdown on dissent.

The surprise royal order gave no explanation for King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa’s decision, other than to say that he had the final authority in such cases.

Bahrain, which is home to U.S. and British naval bases, faces widespread international criticism over its continuing crackdown. The Sunni monarchy crushed an Arab Spring uprising in 2011 supported by the nation’s Shiite majority.

The tiny island has seen protests, unrest and militant attacks on police since the 2011 demonstrations, which authorities have blamed on Iran. Iran has long denied any involvement.

Bahrain has targeted journalists, activists, Shiite religious leaders and political parties. Some activists have escaped into exile while others have been imprisoned.

Last week, 138 people lost their citizenship in a mass trial.

The Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy said last week’s verdict brought to 990 the number of people ordered stripped of their nationality since 2012.

— Associated Press

Protesters punch Turkish opposition leader: Protesters assaulted the leader of Turkey's main opposition party during a funeral for a soldier who was slain in clashes with Kurdish rebels. The politician was not hurt, party officials said. People threw punches at Republican People's Party leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu as security officials tried to escort him away from the funeral in a village outside Ankara. The soldier was among four killed in clashes with rebels of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK . Kilicdaroglu's secular Republican People's Party, or CHP, won control of Ankara and Istanbul during elections on March 31.

Northern Ireland police free 2 held in reporter's death: Two teenagers arrested in the shooting death of a 29-year-old journalist in Northern Ireland have been released from custody without being charged. Police let the 18- and 19-year-old men go and appealed to anyone with information about whoever killed Lyra McKee to come forward. McKee was fatally wounded during rioting Thursday in the city of Londonderry. Police say she was probably hit by a bullet someone fired at police.

British woman killed, 3 others abducted in Nigeria: Kidnappers in Nigeria killed a British woman and a Nigerian man, and abducted three others in the northern city of Kaduna, police and the British High Commission said. Kidnappings are rampant in Nigeria, where both locals and foreigners are targeted, mostly for ransom. The woman traveled from Lagos as a tourist and was attending a party before the incident occurred, police said. There has been no claim of responsibility for the abduction, police said. Northern Nigeria is plagued by an insurgency.

— From news services