Sudan protest leaders demand scrapping of military council

Lamar Ellis
April 16, 2019

The umbrella organisation, which spearheaded the months of protests that precipitated al-Bashir's removal, also demanded the sacking of Sudan's prosecutor general and judiciary head, as well as the disbanding of the former president's National Congress Party (NCP).

"The decision whether to extradite [Bashir] to ICC will be made by a popularly elected government and not the transitional military council", military council member Jalaluddin Sheikh told journalists during a visit to the Ethiopian capital.

Sudanese demonstrators chant slogans in front of security forces during a protest in Khartoum, Sudan April 15, 2019.

Some members of the former government in Sudan have been arrested by the transitional military council which is now running the country, according to reports coming out of the country on Monday morning.

"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, another SPA member. "We appeal to everyone to head to the area to protect your revolution and gains".

The military council later held a press conference at which its spokesperson did not respond to the protesters' latest demands.

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.

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He also posted Koutsis on "steps taken by the military council to preserve the security and stability of Sudan", the statement said.

"We want to set up a civilian state based on freedom, justice and democracy", a council member, Lieutenant General Yasser al-Ata, told several political parties, urging them to agree on the figures to sit in civilian government.

Protest leaders have called for the feared intelligence agency, whose chief Salah Gosh resigned on Saturday, to be restructured and for NISS officials to face prosecution.

The deputy leader of Sudan's ruling military council, Lt. Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Daqlo, met in Khartoum on Sunday with USA charge d'affaires Steven Koutsis.

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. In the latest shake-up, Burhan on Monday named Lieutenant General Hashim Abdelmotalib as the army's chief of staff. But at the protest site Monday, witnesses said demonstrators put up a banner with a photograph of Himeidti which read: "We will not forget that you stood with us".

But the protesters' elation quickly turned to anger as Ibn Auf, a long-time al-Bashir loyalist, announced the establishment of a two-year transitional military council and later was sworn in as its head. The announcement was unlikely to satisfy the protesters. He also ordered the release of all prisoners jailed under emergency laws ordered by the ousted president.

In a joint statement by their embassies on Sunday, they warned against any use of violence to break up the protests, and said the "legitimate change" the Sudanese people demanded had not taken place.

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