Sudan military tries to break up mass sit

Sudan military tries to break up mass sit

The statement comes nearly a week since the Sudanese military deposed President Omar al-Bashir, who had held power for 30 years, on April 11 following months of peaceful protests that brought the country to a standstill.

"Himeidti was part of the crimes that happened previously, but at least now he is on the side of the people", said Mohamed, a protester outside the army headquarters who gave only his first name for security reasons.

"The decision whether to extradite [Bashir] to ICC will be made by a popularly elected government and not the transitional military council", military council member Jalaluddin Sheikh told journalists during a visit to the Ethiopian capital.

Since then the head of the military council and of Sudan's powerful intelligence services have both been replaced, as protesters have continued to call for change.

Britain's ambassador to Khartoum, Irfan Siddiq, met the new military council's deputy and stated his "top request was no violence and no attempt to forcibly break the sit in". "We appeal to everyone to head to the area to protect your revolution and gains".

An interim military council said it would lead the country through a transition period of up to two years, but protesters have vowed to remain in the streets until a return to civilian government is guaranteed.

The Sudanese Professionals Association, which is behind the protests, is urging people to head to the sit-in and defend it from any attempts by the military to disperse the demonstrators.

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The sit-in outside the compound, which also includes the intelligence headquarters and the presidential residence, began on April 6, after more than three months of protests triggered by a deepening economic crisis.

In a communique on Monday, the African Union's Peace and Security Council called for Sudan's military to transfer power to a "transitional civilian-led political authority" within 15 days or face suspension from the AU.

Below are their key demands, which the umbrella group Alliance for Freedom and Change says must to be met for the sit-in to end.

The re-instatement of the country's 2005 constitution, which the military council suspended shortly after ousting Bashir.

"This must be done credibly and swiftly, with protest leaders, political opposition, civil society organisations, and all relevant elements of society, including women, who are willing to participate". But in a press conference, the council's spokesman did not respond to the protesters' latest demands.

Meanwhile, the foreign ministry urged the global community to back the military council "to achieve the Sudanese goal of democratic transition", it said in a statement.

An end to the state of emergency Bashir imposed on February 22. The SPA has also called for the confiscation of properties belonging to the ousted president's National Congress Party and the release of soldiers who sided with their movement.

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