Sudan’s armed forces have killed nine people and wounded at least 629 during days of protests against military rule.
Sudan’s coup leader, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, said the army would make way for a civilian government, would withdraw from ongoing political talks and allow political and revolutionary groups to form a transitional government.
The general issued a statement on Monday as mass protests demanded that Sudan’s pro-democracy movement endure a deadly week. end military rule Has been in the Khartoum area since Thursday.
Nine people have been killed and at least 629 injured in a crackdown by security forces on the demonstrations, according to the Sudanese Doctors Committee, which tracks protest casualties.
Burhan said in a televised address that “the armed forces will not hinder” the democratic transition and affirmed the military’s commitment “to let the Sudanese people choose who runs their elections”.
He said the ruling Sovereign Council, headed by Burhan and composed of military and civilian members, will be dissolved when the new government is formed.
Military leaders said a new Supreme Council of the Armed Forces would be formed after the government was formed, with responsibility for security and defence tasks and “related responsibilities” for agreements with the government.
He said the purpose of the army’s withdrawal from political negotiations was to allow political and revolutionary groups to form a technocratic government.
Al-Burhan called on the groups to start “an immediate and serious dialogue…to get everyone back on the path to democratic transition”. He said the military would be committed to implementing the outcomes of the dialogue, but he did not specify how much political role the armed forces would play in the future.
“Very aware of their requirements”
Since the army took power in October 2021, authorities have carried out a deadly crackdown on almost weekly street protests that have so far killed 113 people, including 18 children, according to the ombudsman.
Al Jazeera’s Sheba Morgan, reporting from the Sudanese capital Khartoum, said the protesters were “very clear about their demands” that they “don’t want the military to remain in power”.
Morgan said Gen. Burhan’s statement was unlikely to appease the demonstrators who opposed the military.
“According to the statement of Army Commander-in-Chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, it is clear that the military will remain in power until there is some kind of consensus among political parties to form a transitional government and set a deadline for elections,” Morgan said.
“It’s not good for the protesters. For seven months, they’ve been demanding that they see the military removed before they see any kind of negotiations between political parties to form a civilian-led transitional government,” she said. Say.
“In terms of political parties, they’ve been having problems reaching consensus,” Morgan added.
“Let’s not forget that on the day of the takeover, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said that it was political divisions between parties that led the army to take over power and dissolve the transitional government that was designed to lead Sudan to democracy.”
Since the coup brought Burhan to power, the United Nations Political Mission in Sudan, the African Union and the G8, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development for East Africa have been trying to find a way out of the political impasse. But so far, the negotiations have yielded nothing.
Pro-democracy groups have repeatedly said they will not negotiate with the military and have called for them to immediately hand over the reins to the civilian government.
Sudan has been in turmoil since a military takeover overturned its brief transition to democracy after a 30-year repressive rule by former strongman Omar al-Bashir.
Bashir and the government were removed by the military during a popular uprising in April 2019.