Sudan military council excludes al-Bashir's party from government formation

Sudanese demonstrators gather near the military headquarters in the capital Khartoum on 14 April 2019

"Protesters are chanting "army is our army", an onlooker told AFP from the site of the sit-in.

The SPA issued its demands hours after protesters blocked an attempt to break up a sit-in outside the Defence Ministry that has continued despite Bashir's exit, a Reuters witness said.

He was once seen as the most powerful person in the country after Bashir and protesters held him responsible for the killing of demonstrators demanding an end to military rule.

The SPA described the attempt to disperse the crowds as "an indication that the military council will not fulfil its commitment given to the people", in a separate statement on its Facebook page. "We hope that everyone will head immediately to the areas of the sit-in to protect your revolution and your accomplishments", the SPA said. Lt. Gen. Shamseldin Kibashi said in televised remarks that the military had begun to overhaul the security apparatus and wouldn't break up the demonstrations outside the military headquarters.

Talks between protest leaders and Sudan's new rulers were followed Sunday by a meeting between Washington's top envoy to Khartoum, Steven Koutsis, and the military council's deputy. It is now the newest country in the world.

Meanwhile, the extradition of Al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges is a matter for the next civilian government, military council member Jalaluddin Sheikh said.

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The SPA also demanded the next "transitional government and the armed forces bring Bashir and all the chiefs of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS).to justice".

A 10-member delegation representing the protesters had delivered a list of demands during talks with the council late on Saturday, according to a statement by the Alliance for Freedom and Change umbrella group. But in a press conference, the council's spokesman did not respond to the protesters' latest demands.

The foreign ministry said the military council's chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan was "committed to having a complete civilian government" and urged other nations to back the council in order to achieve "the Sudanese goal of democratic transition".

On Thursday, Sudan's army announced that it had removed and detained Bashir after three decades in power and was setting up a transitional military council to run the country. "The most potent form of leverage would be to go after the assets laundered by Bashir and his allies through the worldwide financial system", Clooney wrote in a joint Washington Post column with rights activist John Prendergast.

He also said high-profile activists have been released as have army personnel who participated in the protests.

Al-Bashir, who came to power in an Islamist coup in 1989, imposed a nationwide state of emergency February 22 in an attempt to suppress the protests after an initial crackdown failed. Bashir ruled Sudan with an iron fist for 30 years before he was deposed last week following mass protests that have rocked the country since December.

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