Sudanese protesters to announce civilian govt, want all military leaders out
Sudanese protest organizers on Friday stepped up calls for a swift transfer of power, as they fear the army, dominated by deposed leader Omar al-Bashir appointees, will cling to power or select one of its own to succeed him.
Protest leaders say they will announce an interim ruling council they want to see take over from the military that ousted President Omar al-Bashir after months of street protests against him.
The protesters are demanding that the military, which ousted and arrested al-Bashir last week and set up a military council to run the country for a maximum of two years, give up power immediately.
They say they will not give up their protests until their demands are met.
Al-Bashir, whose rule was marred by conflict, civil war and corruption, is also wanted for genocide and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court for atrocities committee in the western region of Darfur.
He is currently held in Khartoum’s Koper Prison, notorious for holding political prisoners under al-Bashir. The former president’s two brothers, as well as a number of his close associates and former government officials have also been taken into custody.
The protesters’ demands include trials for all ranking former government figures for corruption and human rights abuses, as well as disbanding of paramilitary forces al-Bashir used to crack down on insurgency and dissent.
The US has praised orders by Sudan’s new military leader to free political prisoners and end the curfew.
It has also dispatched Makila James, a deputy assistant secretary of state, on a mission to the country this weekend.
The US will “calibrate our policies based on our assessment of events”, State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said, but added that talks on delisting Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism remain suspended.
She welcomed the release of political prisoners but urged the military to “show restraint, avoid conflict and remain committed to the protection of the Sudanese people”.
She added: “The will of the Sudanese people is clear: it is time to move toward a transitional government that is inclusive and respectful of human rights and the rule of law”.