Sudan’s de facto military leader steps down

KHARTOUM – The head of Sudan military council has stepped down as transitional leader a day after leader Omar al-Bashir was ousted in a coup.

Barely a day after he announced the removal of longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s defense minister stepped down as the leader of a transitional council. Protesters have accused the military of “stealing the revolution.”

Defence minister Awad Ibn Auf announced his decision on state television on Friday.

Ibn Ouf, who is under US sanctions for supporting genocidal militias in the Darfur region, had been under international pressure to establish a civilian transitional government. He said General Abdel-Fattah Burhan would succeed him as the council’s leader.

Sudanese soldiers stand guard on armored vehicles as demonstrators protest against President Omar al-Bashir failed government. (PHOTO/ FILE)

The Sudanese Professionals Association, one of the groups leading the protests, said Ibn Ouf’s resignation was “a victory of the people’s will.” It vowed to continue its rallies unless Burhan agreed to “transfer the powers of the military council to a transitional civilian government.”

What Ibn Ouf said:

“I, the head of the military council, announce I am giving up the post.”

“This is for the benefit of our nation.”

“This country has great people and a great army.”‘Not a coup’

Earlier on Friday, the military council said it had “no ambitions” to permanently rule the East African country. 

Lieutenant General Omar Zein Abedeen, the military council’s political committee chief, said: “The role of the military council is to protect the security and stability of the country.

This is not a military coup but taking the side of the people.”Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan will be the new head of the transitional military council, Mr Ibn Auf said in a speech.

He said: “I, the head of the military council, announce I am giving up the post.”

Mr Idn Auf added that he had taken the decision to preserve unity of the armed forces.

Tens of thousands of Sudanese protesters have been rallying in front of the military headquarters in Khartoum, against the military takeover of power on Thursday.

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