'It Will Fall Again,' Chant Sudan Protesters Swelling Night Demo

African Union chief Moussa Faki
Coup'not appropriate response to Sudan's challenges says AU Thursday April 11 2019 African Union chief Moussa Faki

14 April, 2019

The Sudanese defence minister who declared himself head of a provisional military government after ousting President Omar al Bashir in a coup stepped down, after just a day in power.

His move came shortly after the council's political chief Lt Gen Omar Zain al-Abdin told Arab and African diplomats at a meeting broadcast on state television: "This is not a military coup, but taking the side of the people".

Ibnouf said a transitional military council would replace the president for two years, adding that the country's borders and airspace were shut until further notice.

Protesters, determined to see a civilian government after the end of Bashir's iron-fisted three decades in power, saw Ibn Ouf as a regime insider and a close aide of the toppled leader.

The Sudanese protest movement has rejected the military's declaration that it has no ambitions to hold the reins of power for long after ousting the president of 30 years, Omar al-Bashir.

The protesters have said they will remain on the streets until a civilian transitional government, as outlined in the so-called Declaration of Freedom and Change signed by various political and professional groups in January, is formed.

They are demanding a transition to civilian rule before they return home.

"We are not against the demands of the people, we are for the demands of the people, and we have to achieve them", Zein Abedeen, the general tasked with leading talks with the protesters, said in a press conference. "Their ability to project influence in an organized way inside the state appears weak", said Sudanese analyst Khalid al-Tijani.

"All the 160 registered Malaysians in Sudan are accounted for and safe", the Foreign Ministry said in a statement today. In March 2009, ICC pre-trial judges granted the Prosecutor's request for an arrest warrant for Al-Bashir for crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed in Darfur in the preceding five years.

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"We have known him as a person who has destroyed our country, who has separated us, and who has killed a lot of people", said Dhoor.

The leader was indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) after allegations of genocide in Sudan's Darfur region surfaced.

Around the same time, Sudanese political exiles in Egypt were reportedly being hunted by spies from Sudan's National Intelligence Security Service (NISS).

Despite the initial euphoria, over Bashir's forced departure, which swept through the streets of the capital Khartoum doubts are now emerging with opposition forces refusing to deal with the army and on Thursday urging sit-ins to continue, the Sudan Tribune reported.

"Ironically, the prospects for democratic transition may be more remote than when Bashir was in power as there's no centre of power with which to negotiate", said Alex de Waal, executive director of the World Peace Foundation at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

At least 16 people were killed, and 20 wounded by stray bullets at protests and sit-ins on Thursday and Friday, a Sudanese police spokesman said in a statement on Saturday quoted by Reuters.

He says the ouster "was not a coup" but a response to the people's demands.

Protesters have rejected the military's announcement that it will rule the country for the next two years, calling it a continuation of al-Bashir's regime.

The army has said it will oversee a transitional period followed by elections.

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