Civilian government to be formed, says Sudan’s new head of military council

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The new head of Sudan’s transitional military council said on Saturday that a civilian government would be established after consultations with opposition forces and promised that the transitional period would last for a maximum of two years.

In his first televised address, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan Abdelrahman said he was cancelling a night curfew ordered by his predecessor and ordered the release of all prisoners jailed under emergency laws ordered by ousted President Omar al-Bashir.

Earlier on Saturday, Sudan’s security and intelligence chief, Salah Gosh resigned on Saturday, the country’s new military rulers said on Saturday.

On Friday, Sudan’s Defense Minister Awad Ibn Auf said that he is stepping down as head of the Country’s transitional military council, a day after former president Omar al-Bashir was overthrown in a coup.

Bashir was overthrown on Thursday after weeks of mass protests brought on by rising food costs, high unemployment and increasing repression during his three decades in power.

Protest organizers had earlier on Saturday urged people to keep marching to demand a civilian government after the defense minister and the intelligence chief stepped down.

Thousands of people gathered in front of the Defense Ministry in central Khartoum, a Reuters witness said.

Celebrations erupted on the streets of Khartoum overnight after Ibn Auf’s resignation.

Thousands of protesters waved flags and illuminated mobile phones in the darkness and drivers hooted car horns. People chanted: “The second has fallen!” a reference to Ibn Auf and Bashir, witnesses said.

“Islamists have now lost control and they are in shock. Their ability to project influence in an organized way inside the state appears weak,” said Sudanese analyst Khalid al-Tijani.

He added: “The reason for the changes in Sudan is the pressure from protesters and pressures within the army, and the fear among military commanders of a split in the armed forces.”