Sudan's army says government formation 'imminent'

AFP , Thursday 4 Nov 2021

Sudan's army said Thursday the formation of a new government is now "imminent."

Lieutenant-General Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman al-Burhan
File Photo: Lieutenant-General Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman al-Burhan pictured in Khartoum. AFP

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan -- Sudan's leader since the 2019 ouster of autocratic president Omar al-Bashir -- last week dissolved the government, detained the civilian leadership and declared a state of emergency.

The military takeover on October 25 prompted local and international mediators to push for a compromise between the two sides.

"We are considering all internal and external initiatives to serve the national interest," Sudan TV quoted Burhan's media advisor Taher Abouhaga as saying.

"The government formation is imminent," he said.

Sudan has since August 2019 been ruled by a joint civilian-military council as part of the now derailed transition to full civilian rule.

Deepening splits and long-simmering tensions between the military and civilians have marred the transition.

The Sudanese political crisis triggered nationwide mass protests against the military -- demonstrations met by a deadly crackdown by security forces, resulting in at least a dozen people killed and scores wounded.

World powers demanded a swift return to civilian rule, and made punitive aid cuts that will hit hard in a country already mired in a dire economic crisis.

Western diplomats have called for Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok's reinstatement, while Arab countries urged that the civilian-led transition be restored.

Burhan, a veteran general who served under Bashir's three-decades-long rule, insisted the army takeover was "not a coup" but a move "to rectify the course of the transition".

He has since vowed to form another civilian government.

On Thursday, small gatherings of protesters rallied in neighbourhoods around Khartoum chanting "Down with military rule."

*This story was edited by Ahram Online

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