Sudan’s transitional military council delays meeting with political parties

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Sudan’s transitional military council will delay meeting with political parties and forces until a later unspecified date, state news agency SUNA said on Friday.

They must first name two representatives and submit them on Saturday, it said.

The head of the military council’s political committee, Omar Zain al-Abideen, said earlier on Friday the council will hold a dialogue with political entities to prepare a climate for dialogue.

Sudan’s ruling military council on Friday promised a new civilian government, a day after the armed forces overthrew President Omar al-Bashir, but the gesture was immediately rejected by mistrustful protest leaders.

Sudan military council chief to address nation

The chief of Sudan’s new ruling military council, General Awad Ibn Ouf, will deliver a speech to the nation soon, state television said.

Ibn Ouf was sworn in as de facto ruler late on Thursday after leading the ouster of veteran leader Omar al-Bashir following months of protests.

Separately, the military council’s political committee chief, Lieutenant General Omar Zain al-Abdin, told diplomats Bashir’s ouster after 30 years in power was “not a military coup.”

Transition period

The council, which is now running Sudan under Defence Minister Awad Ibn Auf, said it expects a pre-election transition period it announced on Thursday to last two years at most, or much less if chaos can be avoided.

The council also announced that it would not extradite Bashir to face accusations of genocide at the international war crimes court. Instead he might go on trial in Sudan.

Friday’s announcement of a future civilian government by the head of the military council’s political committee, General al-Abideen, appeared aimed at reassuring wary demonstrators who went back into the streets to warn against imposing army rule after Bashir’s ouster.

But the main protest group dismissed the pledge, saying the military council was “not capable of creating change”. In a statement, the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) restated its demand for power to be handed immediately to “a transitional civilian government.”