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Sudan protesters demand 'immediate' civilian rule

AFP  |  Khartoum 

Sudanese protesters on Sunday demanded the country's military rulers "immediately" hand power over to a civilian government that should then bring ousted leader to justice.

Thousands remained encamped outside headquarters to keep up pressure on a military council that took power after ousting on Thursday.

On Sunday the organisation which spearheaded the protests against Bashir, the Sudanese Professionals Association, called on the military council "to immediately transfer power to a civilian government".

The SPA also demanded the next "transitional government and the armed forces to bring and all the chiefs of the and (NISS)... to justice".

"The calls on its supporters to continue with the sit-in until the revolution achieves its demands," it added.

Earlier the military council met with political parties and urged them to agree on an "independent figure" to be the country's prime minister, present at the meeting said.

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

The protesters have insisted civilian representatives must join the military council.

A 10-member delegation representing the protesters delivered their demands during talks with the council late Saturday, according to a statement by the umbrella group spearheading the rallies.

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

The was "committed to having a complete civilian government and the role of the council will be to maintain the sovereignty of the country", it added.

Talks between protest leaders and Sudan's new rulers were followed Sunday by a meeting between Washington's top to Khartoum, Steven Koutsis, and the military council's deputy.

Mohammad Hamdan Daglo, widely known as Himeidti, told Koutsis "about the measures taken by the military council to preserve the security and stability of the country," the official agency reported.

Himeidti is a for the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) counter-insurgency unit, which rights groups have accused of abuses in the war-torn region.

On Saturday, the military council's new chief Burhan vowed to dismantle Bashir's regime, lifting a night-time curfew with immediate effect.

He also pledged that individuals implicated in killing protesters would face justice and that protesters detained under a state of emergency imposed by Bashir during his final weeks in power would be freed.

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

Tens of thousands of people have massed non-stop outside the headquarters since April 6, initially to urge the military to back their demand that Bashir be removed. Burhan comes with less baggage from Bashir's deeply unpopular rule than Ibn Ouf, a former and long-time of the deposed

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

Protest leaders say their demands include restructuring the country's feared NISS agency, whose chief resigned on Saturday.

Rights group International on Saturday urged the military council to examine the actions of Ghosh during a crackdown against protesters during the final weeks of Bashir's rule.

"It is crucial that Sudan's new authorities investigate Salah Ghosh's role in the killings of scores of Sudanese protesters over the past four months", said Amnesty's

The newly formed 10-member transitional council contains several faces from Bashir's regime.

On Saturday evening, the new named NISS to the council, with Himeidti as its

"Himeidti was part of the crimes that happened previously, but at least now he is on the side of the people," said Mohamed, a protester outside the headquarters who gave only his first name for security reasons.

Key regional power-brokers and the have voiced support for the transitional council.

Burhan's nomination "reflects the ambitions of the brotherly people of for security, stability and development", UAE state agency said.

has promised an aid package, the reported Saturday.

is part of a UAE and Saudi-led military coalition fighting Iran-backed Huthi rebels in

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, April 15 2019. 00:10 IST
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