Sudan defense minister steps down as head of transitional military council

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Sudan’s Defense Minister Awad Ibn Auf said on Friday 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.

Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan will be the new head of the transitional military council, Ibn Auf said in a speech broadcast on state television on Friday.

Ibn Auf said: “I, the head of the military council, announce I am giving up the post,” he said, adding he took the decision to preserve the unity of the armed forces.

He also said Chief of Staff Kamal Abdelmarouf al-Mahi was relieved of his position as deputy head of the transitional military council.

Tens of thousands of Sudanese protesters have been rallying in front of the military headquarters in Khartoum, against the military takeover of power after ousting longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir on Thursday.

The Sudanese group spearheading a nationwide protest movement described a decision by the head of a newly formed military council to step down on Friday as a “victory” for the people.

“The stepping down of General Awad Ibn Ouf is a victory of the people’s will,” the Sudanese Professionals Association said.

Jubilation erupted across the capital in response to the resignation.

Ibn Auf was sworn in as de facto ruler late Thursday after leading the ouster of al-Bashir following months of protests.

Ibn Auf had been defense minister since 2015 before al-Bashir promoted him to first vice president in February as protests against him intensified.

16 dead in Khartoum from 'live fire' in 2 days: Sudan police

Sixteen people have been killed by “live ammunition” in Khartoum during ongoing protests over the past two days, Sudan's police said on Friday.

“Sixteen people died and 20 were wounded by live ammunition” as the capital saw massive gatherings during the past two days, police spokesman General Hashim Abdelrahim told AFP in a text message.

Appeal for financial aid

Meanwhile, Sudan’s military council appealed on Friday for financial aid from regional peers to tackle a worsening economic crisis, a day after the ouster of president al-Bashir.

“We want your donations as we have some economic issues,” the head of the military council’s political committee, Lieutenant General Omar Zain al-Abdin, told Arab and African diplomats in a televised meeting, citing “a shortage of essential items like flour and fuel.”

(With Reuters, The Associated Press, and AFP)

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