Khartoum: Thousands of Sudanese took back to the streets to protest the military’s refusal to hand over power to a civilian ruling council.
Today, groups of protesters camped outside the army headquarters to call for a civilian government. However, a top official in Sudan’s military council told the press that the army will not allow civilians a majority on the supreme council set to rule the country during a transitional period.
Lt. Gen. Salah Abdelkhalek said that the most they would accept would be an equal split of power with civilians. However, as he said that, protesters were continuing their mass sit-in outside military Headquarters to demand that the army cedes control of the country to them.
President Omar al-Bashir was ousted from power on 11 April after 30 years. He was replaced by a military transitional council that promised to relinquish power to civilians within two years – a proposal rejected by protesters. Protest leaders accuse the military of not negotiating in good faith and promoting the interests of ousted Bashir.
But the military leaders say that they need to be in charge to ensure order and security in the country. The seven-member military council is led by Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan, who revealed last month that he was willing to hand over power if a consensus could be reached with civilian leaders. Opposition leaders on Thursday sent a draft constitutional document to the military council, outlining their proposals for the transition period before elections are held but the military is yet to respond to them. The draft document outlines the duties of a new transitional council, but doesn’t specify who would sit on the council. The African Union revised its 15-day ultimatum set on 15 April for the military leaders to hand over power to civilian rule. They now have 60 days or face suspension from the continental organisation.