Sudanese military forced to abandon attempt to clear protesters

Mohamed At

Mohamed At

The praise came despite a brief incident earlier Monday in which activists said soldiers attempted to disperse the ongoing protest sit-in outside the military headquarters in the capital, Khartoum, but eventually backed off.

"The RSF and army forces claim they seek to remove the roadblocks to clean the area but the protesters refuse", a demonstrator tasked with protecting the camp, who preferred to remain unnamed, told Anadolu Agency.

Bashir ruled Sudan with an iron fist for 30 years before he was deposed last week following mass protests that have rocked the country since December.

On Monday, the group said in a statement on its Facebook page that protests will persist until there is the creation of a sovereign council, a mini transitional legislative council and a civil transitional government that can exercise wide executive powers. They demanded the dissolution of Bashir's National Congress Party and said they received affirmation from the TMC that the party will not participate in a transitional government being negotiated. Burhan has pledged that individuals implicated in killing protesters would face justice and that demonstrators detained under a state of emergency imposed by Bashir during his final weeks in power would be freed. "We appeal to everyone to head to the area to protect your revolution and gains".

The sit-in outside the compound, which also includes the intelligence headquarters and the presidential residence, began on 6 April after more than three months of protests triggered by a deepening economic crisis.

A member of the military council said Sudan's next civilian government would decide whether to hand Bashir over to the Hague-based International Criminal Court where he has been wanted since 2009 on war crimes charges over the long-running conflict in Darfur in western Sudan.

Siddiq also called for the "immediate reform" of Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS).

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His government's decision to unleash the armed forces and allied militia against the rebels brought him further global criticism. It said a civilian authority should hold elections "as quickly as possible".

"The decision whether to extradite Bashir to ICC will be made by a popularly elected government and not the transitional military council", he said.

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

A 10-member delegation representing the protesters had delivered a list of demands during talks with the council late on Saturday, according to a statement by the Alliance for Freedom and Change umbrella group.

Speaking for the first time since the removal of Bashir, 75, last Thursday, representatives of the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) said they would not co-operate with the ruling council unless their demands were met.

In a communique on Monday, the African Union's Peace and Security Council called for Sudan's military to transfer power to a "transitional civilian-led political authority" within 15 days or face suspension from the AU.

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