Sudan's military rulers urged parties to select 'independent' figure for PM

Arturo Kim
April 15, 2019

Sudanese demonstrators march with national flags as they gather during a rally demanding a civilian body to lead the transition to democracy, outside the army headquarters in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Saturday, April 13, 2019.

Al-Bashir became the second regional leader after Algeria's military-backed president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, to leave this month in the face of nationwide protests.

The army has appointed a military council that it says will rule for two years or less while elections are being organized. The council met Saturday with a delegation of protest organizers.

Sudanese protest organizers have presented demands to the country's new military rulers, urging the creation of a civilian government, the group spearheading demonstrations said.

UAE President Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan gave directives to communicate this to the Sudanese transitional military council.

The council was "keen on maintaining worldwide and regional relations with countries who have Sudan's best interests at heart", the foreign ministry said.

The agency added that Riyadh had also announced a humanitarian aid package to Sudan, including wheat, petroleum products, and medicine.

In separate statements issued late Saturday, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates issued statements in support of Sudan's transitional military council.

The council chief Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan was "committed to having a complete civilian government and the role of the council will be to maintain the sovereignty of the country", the ministry said.

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Sudan's new military rulers urged political parties on Sunday to select an "independent" figure to become prime minister and form a civilian government, an AFP correspondent at their meeting said.

Burhan, who previously served as the general inspector of the armed forces, had met with the protesters in the streets after al-Bashir's ouster and listened to their demands.

Bashir was ousted by the army following months of deadly protests.

General Awad Ibn Ouf made his announcement on Friday through the state television, leading to the crowds shouting in jubilation.

But while celebrating the fall of Bashir and then Ibn Ouf - a defence minister and long-time close aide of the deposed president - protesters remain cautious.

Burhan's nomination "reflects the ambitions of the brotherly people of Sudan for security, stability and development", UAE state news agency WAM said.

On Saturday, the military council's new chief General Burhan vowed to dismantle Bashir's regime, lifting a night-time curfew with immediate effect.

Al-Bashir imposed a state of emergency in February, banning unauthorised public gatherings and granting sweeping powers to the police in efforts to quash the unrest.

The International Criminal Court has longstanding arrest warrants against Bashir for suspected war crimes during the regime's brutal campaign of repression in Darfur, where a decade-and-a-half of conflict has killed 300,000 people. They have incorporated many of its slogans, and established a sit-in outside the military headquarters in Khartoum earlier this month.

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