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Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Sudan protesters present demands to military in talks

AFP , Sunday 14 Apr 2019
Sudan Protests
Demonstrators gather in Sudan's capital of Khartoum, Friday, April 12, 2019 (Photo: AP)
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Sudanese protest organisers presented demands including the creation of a civilian government in talks with the country's new military rulers late Saturday, the group spearheading demonstrations said.

Thousands remained encamped outside the army headquarters in the capital overnight to keep up the pressure on a military council that took power after ousting veteran leader Omar al-Bashir on Thursday.

A 10-member delegation representing the protesters held talks with the military council and delivered their demands on Saturday, according to a statement by the umbrella group leading the protests, the Alliance for Freedom and Change.

One of the alliance's leaders, Omar al-Degier, said in the statement that the demands include restructuring the country's feared National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), whose chief Salih Ghosh has resigned following the ouster of Bashir.

"We will continue... our sit-in until all our demands are met," including the formation of a fully civilian government, Degier said.

The Alliance for Freedom and Change insists that civilian representatives should be accepted onto the military council, and that a fully civilian government should be formed to run daily administration.

"We surely want our demands to be met, but both sides will have to be flexible to reach a deal," said a protester who spent the night at the army complex.

On Saturday, the chief of the military council General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan vowed to dismantle Bashir's regime, and he lifted a night time curfew with immediate effect.

Burhan also pledged that individuals implicated in killing protesters would face justice and that protesters detained under a recent state of emergency would be freed.

Burhan took the oath of office on Friday after his predecessor General Awad Ibn Ouf stepped down just a day after the ouster of Bashir.

Tens of thousands of people have massed outside the army headquarters since April 6, initially to urge the armed forces to back their demand that Bashir be removed.

On Thursday the army toppled the veteran leader, who reached power in 1989.

But the protesters have vowed to remain in place until the military council demonstrably accepts its demands.

Dozens of people have been killed in protest related violence since demonstrations erupted against Bashir's rule in December.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online. 

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