Protesters in Sudan demand military hand power over to civilians

President Omar al-Bashir, who ruled Sudan in autocratic style for 30 years, was overthrown in a military coup on Thursday, but protesters’ jubilation was short-lived as they took to the streets demanding military leaders hand over power to civilians.

Thousands kept up their sit-in outside the military headquarters in Khartoum overnight and into Friday morning despite a curfew imposed by the army after it arrested al-Bashir.

Organizers of the demonstration say they’ll keep up the campaign. It wasn’t clear if the army would move against the protesters.

“To comply with the curfew is to recognise the clone rescue government,” was the official response from the Sudanese Professional Association. “Stay put and guard your revolution.”. The SPA is the main organizer of protests against former president Bashir.

SPA also said the sit-in will not end until power is handed to a civilian transitional government. Omar Saleh Sennar, a senior SPA member, said the group expected to negotiate with the military over a transfer of power.

Bashir’s downfall was the second time this month that a leader in the region has been forced out after mass demonstrations. Algeria’s ailing former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in power since 1999, stepped down on April 2 after six weeks of protests against him extending his rule.

Names circulating about Bashir’s possible successors include the defence minister, an ex-military intelligence chief, also an Islamist, and former army chief of staff Emad al-Din Adawi.