Friday, 19 April, 2019

Activists say Sudan's military attempted to break up sit

Sudanese Christians from the Nuba Mountains Sudan protesters block attempt to break up sit-in – reports
Patty Aguilar | 16 April, 2019, 10:27

Last Thursday Sudan's army announced it had removed and detained Bashir after three decades in power and was setting up a transitional military council to run the country.

Sudan's military last week ousted longtime President Omar al-Bashir, saying it was responding to demands of the people. "We hope that everyone will head immediately to the areas of the sit-in to protect your revolution and your accomplishments", the SPA said.

The military council however met with political parties on Sunday, urging them to agree on an "independent figure" to be prime minister, an AFP correspondent at the meeting said.

British ambassador Irfan Siddiq met with Himeidti "not to endorse or confer legitimacy" to the transitional military council, Siddiq said on Twitter, "but to stress steps United Kingdom wants to see taken to improve situation in Sudan".

Protesters have refused to leave until the military hands over power to a civilian-led transition team.

The Sudanese Professionals' Association (SPA) called for the military council to be disbanded and a new interim civilian ruling council to be formed, with the armed forces having representation.

They were joined by the African Union, which threatened to suspend Sudan's membership unless civilian authority is in place within 15 days.

Al-Bashir, who came to power in an Islamist coup in 1989, imposed a nationwide state of emergency February 22 in an attempt to suppress the protests after an initial crackdown failed.

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The leader of that council, Lieutenant General Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan, said Saturday he is committed to transferring power to a civilian government within two years.

The protests began December 19, with demonstrators accusing al-Bashir's government of economic mismanagement that has sparked skyrocketing food prices, and fuel and foreign currency shortages.

A 10-member delegation representing the protesters delivered a list of demands during talks with the council late Saturday, according to a statement by the Alliance for Freedom and Change umbrella group.

Widad Babiker Omer left Sudan for Juba, the capital of neighbouring South Sudan, with her children on 10 April, on the eve of the military coup in Khartoum, Masrawy reported on Monday.

Dagalo, known by his nickname Hemedti, heads Sudan's Rapid Support Forces (RSF), which human rights groups have accused of widespread abuses in the western region of Darfur.

"For us in the SPA, in the first stage, the transitional government stage, we will play a role in the restoration of the civil service and state institutions and establishing a democratic state", said Gamaria Omar, an SPA member.

On Sunday night, the council announced the appointment of Lieutenant General Abu Baker Mustafa as the new head of NISS in a televised announcement in which it also announced the sacking of Khartoum's envoy to Washington Mohamed Atta. "There is an attempt to disperse the sit-in from the army headquarters area, they are trying to remove the barricades", the SPA said in a statement, without saying who was responsible. Demonstrators fear that the army, dominated by al-Bashir appointees, will cling to power or select one of its own to succeed him.

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