Omar Al-Bashir to step down ‘soon’, army looks for transitional military commander: Sources

Haitham Nouri , Monday 8 Apr 2019

Sudanese protesters wave a national flag and flash the victory sign as they sit atop a military vehicle next to soldiers near the capital Khartoum's military headquarters on April 7, 2019 (Photo: AFP)

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.”

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