Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was in Sudan’s capital to spearhead mediation efforts between military and opposition leaders, days after the killing of dozens of unarmed protesters by a notorious paramilitary force.
Soon after arriving in Khartoum on Friday, Abiy met members of the Transitional Military Council (TMC) – which has ruled Sudan since long-time leader Omar al-Bashir was overthrown in a coup in April – and was expected to hold talks with the opposition Freedom and Change alliance later in the day.
TMC spokesman Lieutenant-General Shams al-Din Kabashi received the Ethiopian prime minister at Khartoum International Airport for the one-day visit, before he met military leader Lieutenant-General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.
Abiy, 42, who took office in Ethiopia last year and introduced political and economic reforms, has won wide praise for his diplomacy skills, including brokering peace with his country’s neighbour and long-time foe Eritrea.
His trip comes after the African Union (AU) suspended Sudan’s membership on Thursday and at least 108 people were killed and more than 500 wounded since Monday’s attack, according to the opposition-linked Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors.
A health ministry official, however, was quoted on Thursday as saying the death toll stood at 61.