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Sudan protesters continue sit-in, demand civilian rule

16 April 2019

There were no clashes and no one was hurt but the incident triggered concerns that the military, which last week ousted Omar al-Bashir, Sudan's longtime president, after four months of street protests against his rule, could renege on its promises not to use force against the peaceful demonstrators.

The SPA issued its demands hours after protesters blocked an attempt to break up a sit-in outside the Defense Ministry that has continued despite Bashir's departure, a Reuters witness said.

At first they were pushing the army to back their calls to oust Bashir. Protester Nourhan Mostafa said the sit-in will continue until "the demands the Sudanese revolution are met".

The military council is yet to formally respond to those demands, which include the transfer of power to a civilian-headed transitional authority for a period of four years, at the end of which elections will be held.

Troops had gathered on three sides of the sit-in and tractors were preparing to remove stone and metal barriers, but protesters joined hands and formed rings around the sit-in area to prevent them.

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"We appeal to all to move immediately to the protest camp to protect the revolution and its gains", it said in a statement.

The foreign ministry urged the global community to back the military council "to achieve the Sudanese goal of democratic transition".

The ambassador reiterated the UK's desire for the "swift formation of a civilian transitional government through a transparent, credible and inclusive process", already expressed in a statement by the Troika countries - the United Kingdom, the Unites States and Norway - on Sunday.

Some members of the former government in Sudan have been arrested by the transitional military council which is now running the country, according to reports coming out of the country on Monday morning.

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

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"This must be done credibly and swiftly, with protest leaders, political opposition, civil society organisations, and all relevant elements of society, including women, who are willing to participate".

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. He did however announce the appointment of a new NISS head after the intelligence agency's chief Salih Ghosh resigned on Saturday.

Transitional military council spokesman Shams al-Din Kabashi pledged on Sunday to reform the NISS.

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

The SPA also demanded the confiscation of properties belonging to al-Bashir's National Congress Party and the release of soldiers who sided with their "revolution".

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Sudan protesters continue sit-in, demand civilian rule