Sudan’s ruling military council has, for the first time, admitted it ordered the dispersal of a sit-in in capital Khartoum, which left scores dead, as diplomats from the United States and African nations step up efforts for a solution to the country’s political crisis.

The Transitional Military Council (TMC) “decided to disperse the sit-in”, said spokesman Shams al-Din Kabashi on Thursday.

Protesters had staged the weeks-long sit-in outside the army headquarters in Khartoum following the overthrowing of long-time leader Omar al-Bashir in April.

Sudan’s pro-democracy protesters continued their agitation, demanding that the TMC, which took over from al-Bashir, hand power to a civilian-led transitional body.

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