Sudan’s military rulers urged parties to select ‘independent’ figure for PM

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Sudan’s new military rulers urged political parties on Sunday to select an “independent” figure to become prime minister and form a civilian government, an AFP correspondent at their meeting said.

“We want to set up a civilian state based on freedom, justice and democracy,” Lieutenant General Yasser al-Ata, a member of the ruling military council said at the meeting with several parties in Khartoum.

“We want you to agree on an independent figure to be prime minister and agree on a civilian government.”

Meanwhile, the Sudanese group that spearheaded protests said that the military council must “immediately” transfer power to a new civilian government which should then bring ousted President Omar al-Bashir to justice.

“We are calling on the military council to immediately transfer power to a civilian government,” the Sudanese Professionals Association said.

In a statement, it called on the next “transitional government and the armed forces to bring al-Bashir and all the chiefs of the National Intelligence and Security Service... to justice.”

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In a related development, Sudan’s foreign ministry urged the international community to back the country’s new military rulers to help “democratic transition.”

“The ministry of foreign affairs is looking forward to the international community to understand the situation and to support the transitional military council ... in order to achieve the Sudanese goal of democratic transition,” the ministry said in a statement.

“The steps taken by the army on Thursday, April 11, take the side of the people for the sake of freedom, peace and justice,” the ministry said, echoing the catch-cry of the months-long protest movement that led to the ousting of long-time leader Omar al-Bashir.

The chief of the military council, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, is “committed to having a complete civilian government and the role of the council will be to maintain the sovereignty of the country,” the military said.

Burhan was also committed to an independent judiciary and to preparing the environment for political parties and civil society to build themselves up “in order to have a peaceful transition of power,” the ministry said.

Burhan took the oath as chief of the military council after his predecessor stepped down a day after ousting Bashir.

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