Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC) has declared its readiness to resume negotiations with the opposition over the country’s political future, but only when the protesters unblock the roads and stop turmoil.

To accelerate transferring power to civilians, opposition groups have been exerting pressure on the TMC since April 11, when the army overthrew President Omar al-Bashir.

The main organizer of the protests, the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) called for civil disobedience and a general strike on Monday, as meetings with the TMC failed to produce any breakthrough in establishing a joint transitional government.

The military stated at a press conference on Tuesday that they would not disperse a protest sit-in that has been staged outside the Ministry of Defense since April 6.

“We have no interest in dispersing the sit-in but it’s in the interest of the Sudanese people to open the roads,” said Lieutenant General Salah Abdelkhalek, a TMC member. He also denied the military’s ties with the former government: “We are part of the revolution and not part of the former regime as people view us.” At the press conference, the TMC also stated that it had accepted the resignation of three Council members. Earlier, the opposition demanded the dismissal of three military allegedly involved in repressions, when dozens of protesters had been killed. Resigned TMC members are: Lieutenant-General Omar Zain al-Abideen, who headed the TMC’s political committee, Lieutenant-General Jalal al-Deen al-Sheikh and Lieutenant-General Al-Tayeb Babakr Ali Fadeel.

Apparently, the military are beginning to view negotiations with the current opposition leaders as destructive and are preparing for the violent dispersal of demonstrations. Today, the protesters have 24 hours to pull down the barricades and, consequently, an escalation could be expected as early as tomorrow.