ANKARA      -   The EU on Thursday asked the Sudanese military rulers to prioritize reaching an agreement, in order to pave way for a civilian-led transition, according to a written statement issued late Wednesday. The EU Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Maja Kocijancic warned military rulers that the 28-member EU may no longer engage with them, unless they show urgency to hand over power to a civilian authority. “The EU continues to support the African Union and Ethiopian mediation efforts and calls on the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) to set aside their differences and swiftly reach an agreement to pave the way for a civilian-led transition in Sudan,” the statement said. Any further delay was fraught with a risk of upsetting the achievements and has potential to fuel more violence, according to the statement. “The tragic killing of eight people earlier this week, among them five schoolchildren, taking part in a peaceful demonstration in El Obeid, makes the formation of a transitional government that is broadly supported by the Sudanese people even more urgent,” it also stressed. Kocijancic, who is also member of EU’s European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations wing, said the perpetrators need to be promptly brought to justice by the Sudanese authorities.  She said the TMC had the duty to ensure the safety of all in Sudan.

“The EU will only be able to engage with a government in which civilians exercise demonstrable authority,” the EU statement added.

Sudan has remained in turmoil since April, when the military ousted long-serving President Omar al-Bashir after months of protests against his 30-year rule.