All Bashir's cronies must go, say Sudan protesters

Sergio Conner
April 16, 2019

Protesters have refused to leave until the military hands over power to a civilian-led transition team.

Representatives of the Sudanese Professionals' Association (SPA) piled pressure on the military commanders who have taken over, issuing a long list of demands for deeper and faster change to end repression and a ruinous economic crisis.

The umbrella organisation, which spearheaded the months of protests that precipitated al-Bashir's removal, also demanded the sacking of Sudan's prosecutor general and judiciary head, as well as the disbanding of the former president's National Congress Party (NCP). Instead it announced the appointment of a new intelligence chief.

The Council called on the Sudanese political forces to present their vision for the transitional period within a week.

"We want to set up a civilian state based on freedom, justice and democracy", a member of the military council Lieutenant General Yasser al-Ata told several political parties, urging them to agree on the figures to sit in civilian government.

The British ambassador said he had "expressed concerns" about the "historic role of the RSF", saying that allegations of crimes and abuses needed to be addressed by the military council in order to build confidence in it among citizens.

Meanwhile, the foreign ministry urged the global community to back the military council "to achieve the Sudanese goal of democratic transition", it said in a statement.

"A military-led transition would be completely contrary to the aspirations of the people of Sudan", it said. It is now the newest country in the world.

Amid the celebratory demonstrations, there have also been outbreaks of gunfire between remnants of the old regime and the new military caretakers.

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An end to the state of emergency Bashir imposed on February 22.

Burhan took the oath of office on Friday after his predecessor General Awad Ibn Ouf stepped down little more than 24 hours after Bashir's ouster.

Tens of thousands of people have massed non-stop outside the army headquarters since April 6, initially to urge the military to back their demand that Bashir be removed.

But while celebrating the fall of both men in quick succession, protesters remain cautious.

Protest leaders have called for the feared intelligence agency, whose chief Salah Gosh resigned on Saturday, to be restructured and for NISS officials to face prosecution.

The deputy leader of Sudan's ruling military council, Lt. Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Daqlo, met in Khartoum on Sunday with us charge d'affaires Steven Koutsis.

"The objectives of the revolution can not be achieved totally and completely in the face of the backstage manipulations by the remnants of the regime", SPA member Taha Osman told reporters in the capital, Khartoum.

"There is an attempt to disperse the sit-in from the army headquarters area, they are trying to remove the barricades", the SPA said in a statement to AFP.

Sudan is part of a UAE- and Saudi-led military coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen.

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