Sudan protesters continue sit-in, demand civilian rule

Clay Curtis
April 16, 2019

Among the demands voiced during the press conference was the dismantling of Bashir's National Congress Party, the sacking of judiciary chiefs, dismissal of the general prosecutor and removal of the ruling military council.

During the meeting, Daqlo briefed the USA envoy on developments in Sudan and the reasons behind the formation of the transitional military council, the council said in a statement.

Their comments come a day after the Khartoum embassies of Britain, the United States and Norway issued a joint statement calling for "inclusive dialogue to effect a transition to civilian rule".Outside army headquarters crowds remained camped outside the complex, despite SPA warnings of "an attempt to disperse the sit-in".

"Transparency" was also necessary to build this confidence, Siddiq said, explaining it was necessary for the military council to clarify the whereabouts of Bashir and "other senior former regime figures".

Late on Sunday, the military council said it has set up a committee to register NCP properties and take control of them.

"A military-led transition would be completely contrary to the aspirations of the people of Sudan", it said.

"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.

The council has pledged a two-year transition period and also said it would not send Bashir or any other Sudanese citizen to the ICC.

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"Afterwards, the SPA will be comprised of unions, and will be a guardian of democracy in Sudan", she added.

On Saturday evening, the new military ruler named NISS deputy head Jalaluddin Sheikh to the council, with Himeidti as its deputy head. The organisation that spearheaded the months of protests leading to Bashir's fall, the Sudanese Professionals Association, called on their supporters to boost the numbers at the complex.

Outside the Defense Ministry on Monday, about 5,000 protesters chanted "Freedom, freedom" and appealed to the army to protect them.

The protest outside the compound, which also includes the intelligence headquarters and the presidential residence, began on April 6, after more than three months of protests triggered by a deepening economic crisis. In a televised address to the nation, Sudan's then-Defence Minister, Lieutenant General Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf, announced that al-Bashir - who had seized power himself in a 1989 coup - had been arrested and taken to a "safe" location.

Mohammad Hamdan Daglo, widely known as Himeidti, told Koutsis "about the measures taken by the military council to preserve the security and stability of the country", the official SUNA news agency reported.

Siddiq said on Twitter he had also requested the reform of the NISS and the release of detainees, as well as the cancellation of all bureaucracy and permits for delivering humanitarian aid.

Himeidti is a field commander for the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) counter-insurgency unit, which rights groups have accused of abuses in the war-torn Darfur region. Sudan's government has previously denied wrongdoing by the RSF.

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