Sudan leader vows to ‘uproot the regime’

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The leader of Sudan’s interim military council has vowed to “uproot the regime” two days after a military coup.

Speaking on TV, Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan announced the restructuring of state institutions, the end of a night curfew and the release of political prisoners.

Protests continue despite the ousting of long-time leader Omar al-Bashir.

Demonstrators have demanded an immediate move to civilian rule and vow to stay in the streets.

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Gen Burhan, who replaced the coup leader after he resigned on Friday, also dissolved all provincial governments and pledged respect for human rights.

The army would maintain “peace, order and security” across Sudan during an already announced transition period that would last at most two years until elections could be and civilian rule introduced, he added.

Using a more conciliatory tone, Gen Burhan also called on the opposition to “help us restore normal life”, promised to try those who killed demonstrators and vowed a war on corruption.

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The speech followed the resignation of feared security chief Gen Salah Gosh hours after the coup leader himself, Defence Minister Awad Ibn Auf, stepped aside. No official reason has been given for either departure.

Later on Saturday the army named Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo as the deputy head of the Transitional Military Council.

Known by the nickname “Hemeti”, the general commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Force (RSF), which grew out of the government-backed Janjaweed militia.

The Janjaweed are accused of carrying out atrocities in the western region of Darfur in the early 2000s.

What has the opposition said?

Opposition groups have met the military to discuss “transitional arrangements”.

Protester spokesman Mohammad Youssef al-Mustafa told the BBC they insisted on the immediate creation of a civilian government, but said military figures would be allowed a role in it.

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And according to the privately-owned Baj News website the leader of the opposition Sudanese Congress Party, Omar el-Digeir, said representatives had demanded a civilian government with “full executive powers” and a role for civilians during the transition.

He also said they were waiting for the army to release jailed demonstrators, as promised.

When Mr Bashir was removed, he was replaced by a military council led by Mr Ibn Auf.

But demonstrators camping out outside army headquarters in the capital Khartoum refused to disperse, rejecting Mr Ibn Auf as an ally of Mr Bashir.

Mr Ibn Auf was head of military intelligence during the Darfur conflict and the US imposed sanctions on him in 2007.

On Friday the new leader announced he was resigning and being replaced by Gen Burhan, who is seen as a less controversial figure.

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Protestors have called for the abolition of “arbitrary decisions by leaders that do not represent the people” and the detention of “all symbols of the former regime who were involved in crimes against the people”.

“Until these demands are fully met, we must continue with our sit-in at the General Command of the Armed Forces,” the SPA said.

On Saturday, Sudanese TV reported the resignation of Gen Gosh, head of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) which has powerful forces within the capital.

The general has been a key ally of Mr Bashir since the early 1990s and is among 17 Sudanese officials indicted for genocide, human right abuses and war crimes in the Darfur region by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2009.

The NISS has extensive powers and influence, supervising the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.

 

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