Sudan’s military holds talks with protesters discussing civilian government for Sudan

The meeting comes as activists say 16 people were killed by stray bullets at protests.

By Sohaila Barghash

After Bashir’s ouster, the new leader of the Sudanese military council, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, announced he will be transferring his power over to a civilian government, calming the transition period would last for a maximum of two years.

Protesters continue to pressure the authorities for rapid change, as Omer Eldigair, member of the delegation representing the protesters at the talks with military leaders, assured the public that the group expressed all their demands, including the formation of a civilian-led transitional government and the release of protesters.

In his first televised address, Lt.-Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan announced the cancellation of a night curfew ordered by his predecessor.

Additionally, Mr. al-Burhan ordered the release of all prisoners jailed under emergency laws under the rule of former President Omar al-Bashir.

He stated, talks will involve “all the people of Sudan, including political parties and civil society groups”.

Also during the meeting, the protesters demanded that civilians be included in the council, and a list of names is due to be submitted on Sunday.

Furthermore, the military council promised to “abolish all laws that restrict freedoms,” the activists said.

The military overthrew Bashir on Thursday, following four months of mobilized demonstrations calling for an end to his nearly 30-year rule.

General Awad Ibn Auf had taken over as the head of the military council, however, he resigned only a day later due to the public’s disagreement with him being in charge, as activists claimed he was close to the deposed president.

Burhan, the new head of the military council, was the third most senior general in the Sudanese armed forces.

As head of Sudan’s ground forces, al-Burhan witnessed Sudanese troops fighting in the Saudi-led Yemen war and therefore, has close ties to senior Gulf military officials.

Sudanese analyst Khalid al-Tijani said, “The reason for the changes in Sudan is the pressure from protesters and pressures within the army, and the fear among military commanders of a split in the armed forces.”

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