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  • African Union asks Sudan's military to transfer power within 15 days as protests rage on in the country.

    African Union asks Sudan's military to transfer power within 15 days as protests rage on in the country. | Photo: Reuters

Published 16 April 2019

The African Union warned Sudan’s military to transfer power to civilian authorities within 15 days, or risk losing membership in the bloc.

The African Union (AU) warned Sudan’s military that they have 15 days to install a civilian government, otherwise they will be kicked out of the 55-member bloc.

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AU's Peace and Security Council said in a statement Monday that Sudan must aim to hold "free, fair and transparent elections" as soon as possible.

"A military-led transition would be completely contrary to the aspirations of the people of Sudan," added the official statement. 

Ever since autocratic President Omar al-Bashir was removed by the military last week and replaced with the Military Transitional Council (MTC), protesters have continued to demand faster political change and an immediate civilian government. They reject the MTC proposal that the military rules for two year before elections are held.

"The Transitional Military Council has met many demands of the protesters, but some of the demands of the protesters need time to answer," said General Jalal Eldin Alshaik, an MTC member after meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the first foreign leader to meet with the council.

The general also said that the protesters would not be dispersed. According to Sudanese police, at least 16 people were killed during protests on April 11 and 12 in the immediate timeframe after Bashir was removed from power.

The decision to extradite Bashir to The Hague to face justice for war crimes will be made “by a popularly elected government and not the transitional military council," said Alshaik.

The MTC previously had said that Bashir would not be handed over to International Criminal Court (ICC) that accused him in 2009 of war crimes including, ethnic cleansing, in the country's Darfur region. 

The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) Monday reiterated its demand for a civilian government that will have “limited” army representation as they fear that Bashir’s core of old guard is far from gone.

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They also demand the dismissal of Sudan's prosecutor general and judiciary head, as well as the dissolving Bashir’s National Congress Party (NCP), which has already been allowed to compete in presidential elections by the MTC.

"The objectives of the revolution cannot be achieved totally and completely in the face of the backstage manipulations by the remnants of the regime," SPA member, Taha Osman, told reporters.

According to Osman, a civil council is necessary in order to safeguard the revolution and meeting of all goals put forward by the protesters.

On April 11, after ruling the country since 1989, Omar al-Bashir was ousted and arrested by the army. His downfall came after four months of nation-wide protests which witnessed deaths and imprisonment of demonstrators.

After the coup, the former Defense Minister Lieutenant General Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf announced the establishment of a two-year transitional military council of which he was sworn in as head.

Protesters did not accept this as Ibn Auf is seen as a Bashir loyalist.

A curfew and three months emergency period was announced that thousands of protestors defied. Ibn Auf stepped down within hours of taking power and Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan replaced him. The curfew was lifted and negotiations started between the council and organizers of protests.

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