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Sudan's military council dismisses top three public prosecutors

17 April 2019
Sudan's military council dismisses top three public prosecutors

Last week, Sudan's military ousted longtime President Omar al-Bashir following four months of street protests against his rule, then appointed a military council that it says will rule for two years or less while elections are organized.

After initially saying Bashir and other ICC suspects would be tried locally and not extradited to The Hague court, the army said on Monday that decision would be left to the next civilian government.

"We want the military council to be dissolved and be replaced by a civilian council having representatives of the army", said Mohamed Naji, a senior leader of the Sudanese Professionals Association, which has spearheaded the protests. "We will continue the mass escalation and the sit-ins to..." Yet it remains to be seen whether the army will make concessions to demonstrators that sufficiently meet their demands and whether the country will maintain its relative stability if such a necessary agreement is not quickly reached. Although Western governments called on Sudan to democratize and civilianize after Bashir's ouster, it was unsurprising that Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) quickly expressed their support for Sudan's military, not the democratic aspirations of Sudan's citizenry.

Bashir was overthrown by the army last Thursday following several months of protests occasioned by deplorable economic conditions, ending his 30- year-reign. Although how events will unfold in Khartoum in the weeks and months ahead is almost impossible to predict, it is inevitable that other governments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), which have concerns about Sudan's fragile political transition, will interfere to advance their national interests.

The African Union meanwhile gave Sudan's military 15 days to hand over power to a "civilian-led political authority" or face suspension from the union's activities.

Prior to the meeting the Council announced the abolition of laws restricting freedoms and allowed the media to operate without restrictions.

On Saturday, Salah Abdallah Mohamed Saleh, better known as Salah Gosh, resigned as head of NISS.

"For us in the SPA, in the first stage, the transitional government stage, we will play a role in the restoration of the civil service and state institutions and establishing a democratic state", said Gamaria Omar, an SPA member.

"Afterwards, the SPA will be ... a guardian of democracy in Sudan".

Military bulldozers and tractors moved to remove roadblocks erected by protesters near the headquarters but were forced back by protesters, according to eyewitnesses.

On Sunday, the military council said it would name a civilian prime minister and Cabinet to help run the country but would not name a civilian to the office of the president.

There has been no mention of the reasons why they were picked up and who exactly had been arrested.

Sudanese sources told Reuters that Bashir was at a presidential residence under "heavy guard".