Hundreds rally for military rulers in Khartoum

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Hundreds of people rallied in support of Sudan’s military rulers in the capital Khartoum on Friday, carrying posters of the generals while some chanted religious slogans.

“One hundred percent military (rule),” shouted the crowds, the majority young men, as they gathered in central Khartoum.

Some of the demonstrators carried placards with pictures of the military council’s chief, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and his deputy Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.

The council has ruled the country since the ouster of president Omar al-Bashir on April 11, after months of protests against his authoritarian rule.

Negotiations between protesters who demonstrated against Bashir’s rule and the military have broken down over whether a planned transitional body would be headed by a civilian or a military figure.

Many of those at the pro-military rally on Friday chanted slogans and waved banners in favor of sharia -- Islamic law -- and against secularism.

“Freedom, peace, justice, sharia is the choice of the people,” one group chanted as they marched to join others at the front of a stage.

Islamist parties stayed on the sidelines during the nationwide protests against Bashir, but have since supported the army in hopes they will keep sharia in place.

One supporter of the military council said he hoped it would include Islamic law in the country’s political roadmap.

“We confirm our support for the military council and that we stand with it and its policies to enable the law of God,” said the government employee from the North Kordofan state.

The crowds gathered before the evening meal to break the Ramadan fast.

For weeks, demonstrators have camped out in front of Khartoum’s army headquarters to pressure the generals to yield power.

The protest site has largely been tolerated by the military, but on Thursday the council said incidents on its margins were threatening public safety.

Authorities would “work in accordance with the law to guarantee citizens’ safety and to resolve manifestations of insecurity and lawlessness,” it said in a statement.

Sudanese authorities on Thursday shut down the Khartoum office of news broadcaster Al Jazeera, which has regularly broadcast footage of the demonstrations, and banned its journalists from reporting in the country.

UN chief calls on Sudan to resume talks on power transfer

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday called on Sudan’s military rulers and protest groups to go back to the negotiating table and quickly reach a deal on handing over power to a civilian-led government.

Guterres said in a statement that the sides must “conclude the negotiations over the transfer of power to a civilian-led transitional authority as soon as possible.”

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