Sudan military council meets political parties, as protestors demand civilian rule

Sudanese demonstrators protest outside the Defence Ministry in Khartoum, Sudan April 14, 2019. REUTERS/Umit Bektas TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Sudan’s main protest group has demanded the immediate handover of power to a civilian transitional government, saying it would keep up the street demonstrations which ousted former President Omar al-Bashir last week to achieve its aims.

Sudanese military and demonstrators attending a sit-in block a train from passing through, during a protest outside the Defence Ministry in Khartoum, Sudan April 14, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

The Sudanese Professionals’ Association (SPA) called for the establishment of a transitional council which would be protected by the armed forces, adding it would exert “all forms of peaceful pressure to achieve the objectives of the revolution”.

The military council that replaced Bashir, who was ousted on Thursday by the military after three decades in power, announced a raft of new decisions late on Sunday including the retirement of Defence Minister Awad Ibn Auf.

Ibn Auf, and his deputy, resigned as head of the transition council after they assumed the positions following Bashir’s ouster.

The council also appointed Lieutenant General Abu Bakr Mustafa as intelligence chief, succeeding Salah Abdallah Mohamed Saleh, commonly known as Salah Gosh, who resigned on Friday.

It did not name a successor to Ibn Auf.

The transitional council spokesman told a news conference in Khartoum on Sunday the military was ready to work with opposition groups to establish a new civilian government.

“The ball is now in the political forces’ court when it comes to the prime minister or a government,” Shams El Din Kabbashi said.

“If they are ready today to approve anything, we are ready to implement it,” he added.

Lieutenant General Omar Zain al-Abideen, another member of the council, said the opposition would have one week to submit their suggestions.

The council also met with representatives of the Sudanese political parties and forces.

Omer Zainal-Abdin, chairman of the Political Committee in Transitional Military Council, praised different political parties’ efforts in achieving political reform through peaceful negotiations.

He said efforts will be made to create an open environment for dialogues and consultations without allowing any group to escalate tensions.

The Sudanese army ousted and detained former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on April 11 in response to four months of nationwide protests against his three-decade rule.

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