New military council leader promises civilian government for Sudan

Sudan protesters demand swift civilian rule after revolution

Protesters thronged the streets of Khartoum on April 11 after the Sudanese military announced President Omar al-Bashir had been deposed and that a military council would oversee a two-year transitional period before elections.

Announcing Bashir's ouster on Thursday and the creation of the military council, Ibn Auf also announced a state of emergency, a nationwide ceasefire and the suspension of the constitution, as well as the nighttime curfew from 10pm to 4am.

Ibnouf said a transitional military council would replace the president for two years, adding that the country's borders and airspace were shut until further notice.

The abrupt changes in Sudan present the same dilemma that protest organizers have been facing for decades: How do they dismantle the cabal of military leaders ruling the country? He did not explain his reasons for the resignation but promptly named another general, Abdel-Fatah al-Burhan Abdel-Rahman, as his replacement.

The Sudanese army said Thursday that Bashir had been removed from power and detained after 30 years in power following four months of protests.

The umbrella group organising the protests called on newly sworn-in ruler Gen Burhan to "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.

"This is not a military coup, but taking the side of the people", the council's political chief Lieutenant General Omar Zain al-Abdin told Arab and African diplomats at a meeting broadcast on state television.

"In order to ensure the cohesion of the security system, and the armed forces in particular, from cracks and strife, and relying on God, let us begin this path of change", Ibn Auf said.

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Zein Abedeen said Sudanese courts would hold al-Bashir "accountable", but did not specify what charges he could be prosecuted on.

Chants rang out across the sit-in where tens of thousands have been rallying in front of the military headquarters to protest against the military takeover of power after Bashir's removal. He was once the most influential person in the country after Bashir and protesters held him responsible for the killing of demonstrators demanding an end to military rule.

Al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court, where he faces charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide for his deadly campaign against insurgents in Darfur.

Now the popular uprising that ousted Mr Al Bashir has also forced Mr Ibn Auf to stand aside.

On Saturday, state-run media reported that Lt. Gen. Salah Abdallah Gosh, the head of the National Intelligence and Security Services, resigned the day before.

"In both countries, people are fed up by seeing the people sitting in power, calling all the shots, and pocketing the money", said Pierini, a former European Union ambassador to Tunisia and Libya, Syria, Morocco and Turkey.

The group encouraged continued protests at the army's headquarters in Khartoum and military posts around the country "until state power is reinstated to a civilian transitional government that represents the forces of the revolution".

Thousands of protestors were staging a sit-in for the sixth night running outside Khartoum army headquarters as the military council's curfew began at 10:00 pm (2000 GMT) despite growing global pressure to hand over to civilian rule. "The maximum is two years", he said.

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