Sudan’s military removes al-Bashir while African Union sets deadline for Sudan power transfer

In recent days, mass protests overthrew long-time ruler of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, followed by the African Union’s decision to allow the army 15 days only until power is handed over to civilian authority.

By Sohaila Barghash

As Sudan’s former President Omar al-Bashir was aiming to extend his rule, anti-government protesters took to the streets in opposition to his long lasting rule, which led to his removal from power by the military.

The Sudanese military council headed by General Awad Ibn Auf replaced the president, declaring a transitional body, which is set to rule the country for two years.

However, the temporary rule of the council was rejected by the protesters, who continued to demonstrate against Ibn Auf, claiming their demands were not met and calling for a civilian-led government.

Amid continued demonstrations, Ibn Auf was forced to resign on Friday evening, to be replaced by Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

The African Union issued a warning to Sudan’s military, stating that the country will have no longer than 15 days to bring a civilian government to power, moreover, the body threatened to suspend the country if this condition was not met.

AU’s Peace and Security Council stated that Sudan must aim to hold “free, fair and transparent elections.” As “A military-led transition would be completely contrary to the aspirations of the people of Sudan.”

On Monday, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, was the first foreign leader to meet members of Sudan’s ruling military council, as he expressed his support for Sudan.

A senior State Department official said the United States will consider removing Sudan “from the list of state sponsors of terrorism if there is significant change in the country and a smooth transition”.

Additionally, Russia’s deputy foreign minister announced Moscow’s recognition of Sudan’s transitional military council.

As protesters, activists and organizations fear that the old establishment is yet to be dissolved, the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) urged the military council to be substituted with a civilian government where army representation is “limited”.

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