AU envoy mediates Sudan crisis as protesters slam military

AU envoy mediates Sudan crisis as protesters slam military
Special envoy of the Ethiopian Prime Minister Ambassador Mahmoud Dreir speaks to the press at the Ethiopian embassy, Khartoum, Sudan Tuesday, June 11, 2019 on the agreement to end the civil disobedience of the country between the forces of freedom and change and the military council. (AP Photo)

KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) — An African Union envoy is in Sudan to mediate the crisis as leaders of the country’s protest movement accuse the ruling military of pursuing a brutal crackdown on protesters.

The Sudanese Professionals Association, which was behind rallies that drove longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir from power in April, released a statement on Thursday saying the military authorities are arresting and intimidating people who took part in a general strike this week.

Activists called off the strike and civil disobedience campaign as the U.S. and Ethiopia stepped up efforts to find a peaceful solution to the crisis, following last week’s clampdown by security forces on pro-democracy demonstrators that killed over 100 people.

The AU envoy to Sudan, Ahmed Labbat, was to brief the media later in the day on his mediation efforts.