Sudan protest leaders to unveil civilian ruling body

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Sudan’s protest movement said it will unveil a civilian ruling body on Sunday, piling pressure on the military council which seized power after toppling president Omar al-Bashir last week.

The Sudanese Professionals Association called on its supporters, foreign diplomats and journalists to be present at 7:00 pm (1700 GMT) on Sunday outside army headquarters where thousands have kept up protests since Bashir’s ouster demanding civilian rule.

“This press conference at 7:00 pm on Sunday will announce the names of a civilian council,” the SPA said in the Friday statement.

Earlier on Friday, thousands of protesters massed outside the army complex in Khartoum, piling pressure on the country’s new military rulers to swiftly transfer power to a civilian administration, witnesses said.

The army on April 11 ousted Sudan’s longtime leader Omar al-Bashir after a months-long protest movement. A military council which took power has so far resisted calls from protesters to quickly bring in a civilian administration.

On Thursday, exactly four months since protests started, roads leading to the sit-in area were packed with crowds flocking to the army headquarters.

Sudan’s protest movement mobilized demonstrators through social media to keep up the pressure for replacing the military council, now led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

“Power to civilians, power to civilians,” protesters chanted through Thursday night. “I won’t leave until Burhan transfers power to a civilian government,” said Wali Aldeen, who has camped outside the complex since the day Bashir was ousted.

Protesters have called for large crowds to gather after the weekly Muslim prayers, as on previous Fridays.

Protests first broke out on December 19 in response to the tripling of bread prices, swiftly turning into nationwide rallies against Bashir’s three-decade rule.

After his ouster, protesters demonstrated against General Awad Ibn Ouf who took over as the first head of the military council, insisting he was a close aide of Bashir and a top regime figure.

Ibn Ouf stepped down in less than 24 hours and was replaced by Burhan, who so far has appeased protesters by lifting a night-time curfew and vowing to “uproot” the Bashir regime.

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