Ruling military council in Sudan rejects demand for immediate civilian government

The people want to build a new Sudan reads a banner held by protesters outside the army headquarters on Thursday 11 April 2019

The people want to build a new Sudan reads a banner held by protesters outside the army headquarters on Thursday 11 April 2019

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.

Al-Bashir "set up an elaborate political-security system that only he was capable of running", and now they're "struggling with the conundrum of how to maintain consensus among a divided and militarized elite, and meet enough of the demands of the protesters to have a modicum of legitimacy".

Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan vowed to "uproot" deposed president Omar al-Bashir's regime and release protesters, in a bid to placate demonstrators demanding civilian rule.

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".

A 10-member delegation representing the protesters held talks with the council and delivered their demands on Saturday, the Alliance for Freedom and Change said.

On April 11 Sudan's military ousted leader Omar al-Bashir, following months of protests against growing prices.

"The ministry of foreign affairs is looking forward to the global community to understand the situation and to support the transitional military order to achieve the Sudanese goal of democratic transition", the ministry said in a statement.

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The agency added that Riyadh had also announced a humanitarian aid package to Sudan, including wheat, petroleum products, and medicine. The new leader of the Transitional Military Council has pledged to turn over power to a civilian government.

"We will never leave this square, our only [means of] power to put pressure on this military council is our sit-in here, so we will continue until we achieve all our demands", Randa Mohamed, 22, told Al Jazeera.

Burhan assumed leadership of the military council the day after al-Bashir's ouster after protesters objected to its being led by Gen. Awad ibn Ouf, who was seen as being too close to al-Bashir. The military announced Sunday that ibn Ouf had retired.

In remarks broadcast on state TV, Burhan said Saturday the council has invited "all spectrums of Sudanese people for dialogue".

Al-Bashir imposed a state of emergency in February, banning unauthorised public gatherings and granting sweeping powers to the police in efforts to quash the unrest.

It also urged the next "transitional government and the armed forces to bring Bashir and all the chiefs of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS).to justice".

Dozens of people have been killed in protest related violence since demonstrations erupted against Bashir's rule in December. The events have stirred echoes of the Arab Spring uprisings that rocked the region from 2011. They incorporated many of its slogans and established a sit-in outside the military headquarters in Khartoum earlier this month.

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