Sudan’s military council head says El-Obeid killings ‘regrettable’

KHARTOUM (Reuters) – The head of Sudan’s ruling military council said an incident in which at least four schoolchildren were shot dead at a protest was “regrettable” and called for a quick resumption of negotiations over political transition.

The children’s deaths came at a time of heightened tension between Sudan’s military rulers and the main opposition coalition, which called for nationwide protests in response – although the turnout was limited.

In an interview recorded on Monday and aired on state television late on Tuesday, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said he hoped a deal between the military council and the main opposition coalition could be reached “as soon as possible”.

“What happened in El Obeid and (the incidents) before are all regrettable,” Burhan said. “No one accepts the death or killing of any Sudanese person, and this may be one of the motives prompting us to sign (an agreement) as soon as possible to bring life back to normal,” Burhan said.

More talks between the two sides on the transition from military rule to a new sovereign council were due to take place on Tuesday but were postponed after the shooting, a pattern that has happened repeatedly after bouts of violence.

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