The new head of Sudan’s transitional military council said on April 13 that a civilian government would be established after consultations with opposition forces and promised that the transitional period would last for a maximum of two years.
In his first broadcast address, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan Abdelrahman announced e was cancelling a night curfew ordered by his predecessor General ibn Auf and ordered the release of all prisoners jailed under emergency laws imposed by ousted President Omar al-Bashir.
“For months, the people of Sudan have peacefully and with determination called for change” says the statement of the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini on the situation in Sudan.
“As underlined by the Chairperson of African Union Commission in his statement today, a military council does not provide the answers and breaches the principles of the African Union Charter.”
“Only a credible and inclusive political process can meet the aspirations of the Sudanese people and lead to the political and economic reforms the country needs.”
“That can only be achieved through a swift handover to a civilian transitional government. In that process, all must exercise calm and utmost restraint.”
Image above: Federica Mogherini (archive photo).
Incumbent President of Sudan Omar al-Bashir was overthrown and arrested in a coup d’état by the military, but protesters came to the streets demanding the army the peaceful transition of power to civilians.
The President Bashir (75) was arrested by military after months of demonstrations against his rule protracted for three decades rule.
In an address on state television, Defence Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf, announced the presidential elections will be organised ater a two-year period of military rule.
Auf explained Bashir was being detained in a “safe place” and a military council would now run the country, but he did not reveal the names of the military to ascend to the positions.
Sudanese state News agency SUNA informed the President of the Republic, Marshal Omar al-Bashir in his capacity of the Supreme commander presided over the meeting of the Defence and National Security Council. The Council stressed the importance of gathering the national class and achieving peace and the need to invoke the “voice of reason” to spare the country from “slipping into sedition“.
The news agency also quoted police spokesman General Hashim Abdel-Rahim as saying that one person was killed during “disturbances” in Omdurman.
Officials say 31 people have died in protest-related violence so far, but according to Human Right Watch sources indicate that the death toll is much higher, reaching 51 victims, including children and medics.
SUNA news also reported that civilians and policemen were injured in the demonstrations, citing police reports as thousands of protesters clashed with security forces near the President’s residence.
President Omar al-Bashir has appointed a new first vice President and Prime minister, a day after declaring a year-long state of emergency to counter Sudanese protests calling for his removal from office.
Bashir replaced his long-time ally Bakri Hassan Saleh with Defence Minister General Awad Ibnoufas as vice-President and appointed governor of eastern Gezira state Mohamed Tahir Ayala as Prime minister.
Awad Ibnoufas was active in the coup which brought Bashir to power three decades ago, while Ayala has previously been regarded by the Sudanese leader as his potential successor as president.
Sudan parliamentary committee mandated with amending the Constitution to allow President Omar al-Bashir to run for another mandate informed it would indefinitely postpone a meeting to draft these changes, state news agency SUNA reports.
The decision comes amid almost daily street protests since mid-December, initially sparked by rising food prices and cash shortages, against Al-Bashir’s three decades rule.
MEPs strongly condemn the excessive use of force by the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) during the ongoing popular protests against price increases and President Omar al-Bashir’s regime. The Sudanese government recently decided to end subsidies on staple goods in response to aggravating inflation, which is now the second highest in the world at around 122 %.
The European Parliament also deplores the ongoing general repression by the authorities in Sudan, which continue to target activists and human rights defenders, as well as lawyers, teachers, students and doctors.
The resolution calls for the immediate and unconditional release of human rights lawyer and 2007 Sakharov Prize laureate Salih Mahmoud Osman, who was arrested on 8 January, as well as all other political prisoners currently in detention without charge or trial.
MEPs reiterate their demand to President al-Bashir to comply with international law in accordance with the conventions and treaties to which his government is party. The Sudanese President, in power for 29 years, is the only sitting head of stated wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide committed during his campaign of ethnic cleansing in Darfur. Although the Sudanese constitution does not permit him to stand again when his term ends, Mr al-Bashir is currently seeking to amend relevant articles in order to obtain a life mandate.
President Omar al-Bashir said that the initiators of mass unrest swept Sudan in the past few weeks, receive financial support from abroad. He said this on January 3 in Khartoum during a speech on the occasion of the 63rd anniversary of the independence of the east African state.
According to al-Bashir, the organizers of anti-government demonstrations “receive funding from abroad, and the guide to action is from the embassies of some foreign countries represented in Khartoum,” reported Al-Mayadin TV channel.
“But the Sudanese will not sell their independence for dollars,” the Sudanese leader underlined.
“Our country has been in a state of economic war for 21 years already, since the introduction of international sanctions against it,” said Al-Bashir, commenting on the difficult economic situation in Sudan. However, a way out of the crisis, he said, must be resolved within the country.
“Overcoming it will not work in one day or one night, but we know how to find a way out of the current difficult situation,” al-Bashir explained and promised “at the end of the month to start implementing the program to raise salaries in the country to the required level and support most vulnerable people. “
Demonstrations demanding President Omar al-Bashir to resign erupted in city of Port Sudan (pictured), where protesters condemned alleged repression by the government and deteriorating economic conditions, Turkish News Agency Anadolu reports.
Security forces dispersed hundreds of demonstrators with teargas, eyewitnesses told Anadolu Agency.
In December, the port city saw similar protests that were also dispersed by security forces.
Protests began in Sudan on December 19 in 14 of the country’s 18 states, including capital Khartoum.
The city has handles the majority of Sudan international trade, and has an oil refinery.
Authorities are blocking access to Sudanese popular social media platforms used to organize and broadcast nationwide anti-government protests triggered by an economic crisis, internet users complain.
In a country where the state tightly controls conventional media, the internet has become a key information battleground. Of Sudan’s 40 million people, some 13 million use the internet and more than 28 million own mobile phones, local media reports.