Sudanese army promises to help found civilian government after coup

Saul Bowman
April 14, 2019

Burhan, the new head of the military council, was the third most senior general in the Sudanese armed forces and is little known in public life.

Burhan said the Transitional Military Council invites political parties, the opposition and NGOs to deal with the current situation "with cooperation and understanding", adding that a civilian government will be formed after consultations.

On Thursday, the military ousted 75-year-old Omar al-Bashir after months of street protests by citizens.

But it demanded that Burhan swiftly "transfer the powers of the military council to a transitional civilian government".

Protest organisers had earlier on Saturday urged people to keep marching to demand a civilian government after the defense minister and the intelligence chief stepped down.

"The chief of the transitional military council, Abdel-Fattah Burhan, has accepted the resignation of the chief of NISS", the transitional military council said.

"The reason for the changes in Sudan is the pressure from protesters and pressures within the army, and the fear among military commanders of a split in the armed forces".

Omar el-Digeir, leader of the opposition Sudanese Congress Party, said the military should not be "the sole custodians of power".

"All the 160 registered Malaysians in Sudan are accounted for and safe", the Foreign Ministry said in a statement today.

The military says it will not extradite him on war crimes charges.

Meanwhile, Mr Zein Abedeen sought to reassure protesters who, while celebrating al-Bashir's removal, oppose the military's seizure of power in his wake.

Mr Ibn Auf was head of military intelligence during the Darfur conflict and the U.S. imposed sanctions on him in 2007.

The United Nations human rights office called on Sudan to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC), which issued an arrest warrant for deposed Bashir for alleged war crimes almost 15 years ago.

A growing economic crisis has gripped the country since the oil-rich southern part split away in 2011, and Thursday's coup followed months of unrest over rising prices. He also vowed to "uproot the regime" of Bashir and its symbols.

Sudanese protesters gather near the military headquarters in Khartoum as they continue to rally demanding a civilian body to lead the transition to democracy one day after a military council took control of the country, April 12, 2019.

Later on Saturday, the military council has accepted the resignation of Salah Gosh, the director of the National Intelligence and Security Service, the state television reported.

Outside the Middle East, the formation of a military government to replace Bashir has met with widespread criticism.

The ousted president is under house arrest and will be tried for unspecified crimes by Sudanese courts, the military said.

He promised people that the army will hand over to a democratic regime after a two-year transitional period.

On Friday, hours before he was named as Sudan's new military ruler, he was seen talking to protesters who have camped outside the army headquarters since 6 April.

The SPA said the military had announced a "coup" that would merely reproduce the same "faces and institutions that our great people revolted against".

The police said Friday that 16 people had been killed in live fire in Khartoum alone over the previous two days as NISS agents led a desperate last stand for Bashir before the army intervened.

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