Monday, 22 April, 2019

Sudan military vows to reform intelligence service amid protests

African Union chief Moussa Faki Coup'not appropriate response to Sudan's challenges says AU Thursday April 11 2019 African Union chief Moussa Faki
Leonard Rios | 15 April, 2019, 01:43

The new leader of Sudan's interim military council vowed yesterday to "uproot the regime" in a conciliatory speech two days after a military coup, the BBC reported.

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.

Following the talks, an army spokesman said the military council had begun to overhaul the security organizations and that the political opposition would be allowed to name a civilian prime minister and Cabinet, but not a president.

CAIRO-Sudanese political parties and movements behind almost four months of anti-government protests met with the country's military on Saturday, activists and the military said, holding the first talks since the army forced President Omar al-Bashir from power two days ago.

The EU urged the army to carry out a swift handover to civilian rule, and former colonial ruler Britain said that the two-year transition announced by the military "is not the answer".

Al-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, adding that he meant to prepare an environment for political parties and civil society to build themselves up "in order to have a peaceful transition of power".

Protest leaders say their demands include restructuring the country's feared NISS agency, whose chief Salih Ghosh resigned on Saturday. The council met Saturday with a delegation of protest organizers.

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On Saturday the UAE's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation welcomed Gen Al Burhan's appointment as a "step forward reflecting the ambitions of the brotherly people of Sudan towards security, stability and development".

The political parties and movements behind the four months of protests said in a joint statement late Saturday that they would remain in the streets until their demands are met.

The protests were sparked late previous year by price hikes and shortages but quickly escalated into an Arab Spring-inspired uprising against al-Bashir, who seized power in a 1989 Islamist-backed military coup.

The transitional council was established on Thursday for a period of up to two years, after the Sudanese military removed Bashir, who had ruled the country for 30 years, from power amid months-long anti-government protests. 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.

The face of the coup, ibn Ouf was himself head of military intelligence during the brutal campaign to suppress the Darfur insurgency. The events have stirred echoes of the Arab Spring uprisings that rocked the region from 2011.

On Saturday, Amnesty International called for the new military leadership to investigate Gosh's role in the killing of demonstrators during the protests against Bashir. Yemen slid into civil war, and Libya is on the verge of another major conflict as militias fight for control of the capital, Tripoli.

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