Published: Mon, April 15, 2019
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

S Arabia backs Sudanese Military Council

S Arabia backs Sudanese Military Council

In a statement broadcast on Sudanese radio, al-Burhan urged the protesters to return home - promising the military council was working to promote an equal society that protected political freedoms.

In a statement, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) urged all Sudanese parties to "pursue constructive dialogue with a view to maintaining peace and social cohesion in the country and achieving aspirations of the Sudanese people for a peaceful transfer of power".

The protests against him escalated last Saturday when thousands of demonstrators, apparently bolstered by change in Algeria following similar protests, marched towards the Defense Ministry in Khartoum to deliver a memorandum demanding the military side with them. The UAE said it welcomed the swearing-in of General Abdel-Fattah Burhan on Friday as head of that council. Abdel Fattah Burhan said a civilian government will be formed in maximum two years after consultations are made with the opposition.

Sudanese women have been at the forefront of the protests.

In a related development, Sudan's foreign ministry urged the global community to back the country's new military rulers to help "democratic transition".

As he stepped down late Friday, Ibn Auf said he was seeking "to keep the solidarity of the security system, especially the armed forces".

He also said he was lifting the nighttime curfew imposed Thursday, which was supposed to have lasted a month, and he declared the immediate release of all those detained and tried during the wave of unrest that began in December.

Lieutenant General Yasser Atta, a member of the military council, said they had hoped the opposition would come together to choose an independent candidate for prime minister, while another member of the council said they would give the opposition one week to submit their suggestions.

The Sudanese Professionals Association, which has spearheaded the protests, also posted a nine-point list of demands earlier Sunday, including prosecution of those behind the Islamist-backed military coup in 1989, dissolution of all pro-government unions, a freeze on the assets of top officials in al-Bashir's government and dismissal of all top judges and prosecutors.

Protesters in Khartoum celebrated his departure.

Burhan comes with less baggage from Bashir's deeply unpopular rule than Ibn Ouf, a former defence minister and long-time close aide of the deposed president.

The military council under Ibn Auf had said it would not extradite Bashir to face accusations of genocide at the global war crimes court. "We will shout to our freedom, to our liberty", protester Rami Mustafa said Saturday, speaking in English.

Burhan named as the council's deputy Mohammad Hamdan Daglo, who is also known as Himeidti, field commander of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) counter-insurgency unit, which rights groups have accused of abuses in war-torn Darfur.

His initial announcements indicated he wanted to show the tens of thousands of protesters on the streets that he is not part of the regime's old guard and was genuinely committed to reform.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Saudi Arabia's King Salman, has reportedly ordered an unspecified package of aid for Sudan that includes petroleum products, wheat, and medicine.

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