Observers are expecting that Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir will be stepping down "soon," and that it is only a matter of time before the army decides who will be the transitional leader of the Arab African country, which has been witnessing massive protests for the past four months.
Informed sources in Sudan who talked to Ahram Online on condition of anonymity said that after Sunday’s meeting of the National Defence and Security Council headed by Al-Bashir, “it has become clear that the army has picked its side.”
After the meeting, the council said in a statement published by the Sudanese official news agency that “the protesters represent a segment of society that must be heard.”
However, according to two different sources, a large faction in the army insists that the Sudanese Minister of Defence Awad Ibn Ouf, who is also the president’s deputy, cannot be the one to lead the transitional period after Al-Bashir steps down.
“The council is currently looking for someone with a military background, respected by middle and high rankingofficers, and with no political affiliations. Someone not wanted by the International Criminal Court,” one source added.
Among the names that are being circulated behind closed doors at the moment, according to observers, is retired Armed Forces Chief of General Staff Lieutenant-General Emad Al-Din Mustafa Adawi.
Meanwhile, Sudanese soldiers intervened to protect demonstrators on Monday after security forces tried to disperse a sit-in by thousands outside the defence ministry in central Khartoum that started on 6 April, the anniversary of the military coup that forced Jaafar Nimeiri to step down in 1985 after massive protests.
Sudanese activists shared videos showing the army’s intervention to stop police violence against protesters while demonstrators chanted “one people, one army.”