Published: Tue, April 16, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Sudan military tries to break up mass sit

Sudan military tries to break up mass sit

Sudan's anti-government protests are showing no signs of ending, even though the President, Omar al-Bashir, was driven out of power by a military coup last week.

Fearing that the core of the old establishment is far from gone, the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) on Monday reiterated its call for the military council to be dissolved and substituted by a civilian one that will only include "limited" army representation.

Since then, negotiations have taken place between the council and protest organisers, who on Saturday submitted a list of demands to Sudan's military rulers.

The SPA also demanded the next "transitional government and the armed forces bring Bashir and all the chiefs of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS).to justice". Ousted Omar al-Bashir is now in detention and is likely to face trial in Sudan. Instead it announced the appointment of a new intelligence chief.

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

Below are their key demands, which the umbrella group Alliance for Freedom and Change says must to be met for the sit-in to end.

The U.S., Britain and Norway on Sunday urged the military authorities to "listen to the calls from the Sudanese people".

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. The military council's deputy Himeidti is a field commander for the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) counter-insurgency unit, which rights groups have accused of abuses in Darfur. The foreign ministry said military council head General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan was "committed to having a complete civilian government" and urged other nations to back the council in order to achieve "the Sudanese goal of democratic transition". 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.

The countries said that it is time for the transitional military council to engage in dialogue with all parties of civil society to begin the handing over of the country.

Sudanese demonstrators chant slogans in front of security forces during a protest in Khartoum, Sudan April 15, 2019.

"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, without saying who was responsible.

The gas-rich country is locked in a almost two-year-old diplomatic standoff with Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt.

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

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