Sudanese leaders seek unveiling of civilian body

Khartoum, Apr il 19 

Protest leaders on Friday announced plans to unveil a civilian body to take over from Sudan’s ruling military council as crowds of demonstrators kept up the pressure outside the army headquarters and Washington said it would send an envoy to encourage the transition.

The military council, which took power after ousting Sudan’s longtime leader Omar al-Bashir on April 11, has so far resisted calls from protesters to quickly make way for a civilian administration.

The Sudanese Professionals Association, which has been spearheading the protests, said in a statement that the civilian council members would be named at a news conference on Sunday outside the army complex to which foreign diplomats were also invited.

“We are demanding that this civilian council, which will have representatives of the army, replace the military council,” Ahmed al-Rabia, a leader of the umbrella group of unions for doctors, engineers and teachers, told the media. Four months after anti-regime protests started, access roads were packed on Friday with crowds flocking to huge square outside the army headquarters. Activists mobilised demonstrators through social media to keep up the pressure for replacing the military council, now led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

“Power to civilians, power to civilians,” protesters chanted through Thursday night. “I won’t leave until Burhan transfers power to a civilian government,” said Wali Aldeen, who has camped outside the complex since the day Bashir was ousted. Activists have called for large crowds to gather after weekly Muslim prayers, as on previous Fridays. Protests first broke out on December 19 in response to the tripling of bread prices, swiftly turning into nationwide rallies against Bashir’s three-decade rule. After his ouster, protesters demonstrated against General Awad Ibn Ouf who took over as the first head of the military council, insisting he was a tool of the old regime. Ibn Ouf stepped down in less than 24 hours and was replaced by Burhan, who so far has appeased protesters by lifting a night-time curfew and vowing to “uproot” Bashir’s circle. — AFP

RELATED Opposition leaders to visit J-K on Saturday; Rahul likely to join