Sudan braces for 'million-strong' protest march against military rule
The rally outside the army headquarters comes after the military rulers and protest leaders agreed to set up a joint committee, to chart the way forward two weeks since the ouster of veteran president Omar al-Bashir.
"We expect huge crowds to come to the protest site, including people from outside of Khartoum," activist Ahmed Najdi told AFP.
Demonstrator Ayman Ali Mohamed was among those preparing to march in the capital.
"We fear that the military council might steal our revolution, so we have to participate until the transfer to civilian rule is accomplished," he said.
"We are standing our ground no matter what."
The planned march follows a late-night meeting between the military council and leaders of the umbrella group heading the protest movement.
"We have an agreement on most demands presented in the document of the Alliance for Freedom and Change," Lieutenant General Shamseddine Kabbashi, spokesman of the military council, told reporters afterwards.
He did not elaborate on the key demand of handing power to a civilian government, but said there "were no big disputes".
The Sudanese Professionals Association, which spearheaded months of protests against Bashir, described the meeting as a step towards "confidence-building".
"Both sides agreed on the importance of joint cooperation to steer the country toward peace and stability," the SPA said Thursday.
Writing on Twitter, the association said a "joint committee" was being set up to "discuss outstanding disputes" as part of efforts to reach a "comprehensive agreement".
Protests began on December 19 against a decision by Bashir's government to triple bread prices.
They swiftly turned into nationwide rallies against his rule and that of the military council that took his place.
The protesters have found support in Washington, which has backed their call for civilian rule.
"We support the legitimate demand of the people of Sudan for a civilian-led government, and we are here to urge and to encourage parties to work together to advance that agenda as soon as possible," State Department official Makila James told AFP on Tuesday.
Several African leaders gathered Tuesday in Cairo where they insisted on "the need for more time" for a transition, according to the office of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
The leaders urged the African Union to extend by three months an end-of-April deadline for the council to hand power to a civilian body.