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Sudan crisis: Protesters cut ties with military council

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Protest leaders in Sudan have said they have broken off contact with the ruling military council that replaced ousted leader Omar al-Bashir.

They accused it of being composed of “remnants” of Mr Bashir’s regime.

Thousands of protesters have gathered outside army HQ in Khartoum for a meeting to announce a civilian council they now want to take power.

The military says it is committed to handing over power and will consider a joint military-civilian council.

However, protest movement spokesman Mohamed al-Amin said they now considered the military council an “extension of the regime” and vowed to escalate the protests.

What are protest leaders planning?

The campaign to remove Mr Bashir has been spearheaded by the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) and it was behind the announcement of the civilian council.

The SPA held talks with the military on Saturday.

A senior SPA member, Ahmed al-Rabia, initially indicated this might delay the naming of the council but on Sunday he confirmed the announcement would go ahead at the Khartoum protest site.

The protesters want their new council to form a transitional government, leading to elections.

What will the military do?

On Sunday it said it would respond to the call for civilian rule within a week, and indicated it might favour a joint council.

It has, however, released political prisoners and on Saturday arrested a number of top members of Mr Bashir’s former ruling party.

While the military has promised not to remove protesters from their sit-in, it also called on them to “let normal life resume”.

How did it all begin?

In December 2018, the government tried to stave off economic collapse by imposing emergency austerity measures and a sharp currency devaluation.

Cuts to bread and fuel subsidies sparked demonstrations in the east over living standards, but the anger soon spread to Khartoum.

The protests quickly widened into demands for the removal of President Bashir, in charge for nearly 30 years, and his government.

The Sudanese military toppled Mr Bashir on 11 April but demonstrators have vowed to stay on the streets until there is a move to civilian rule.

Who are the protesters?

The economic problems brought Sudanese from all walks of life on to the streets but the organisation of demonstrations was taken on by the SPA, a collaboration of doctors, health workers and lawyers.

A large proportion of the protesters have been women and the demonstrators are mostly young.

 

Source: BBC

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