Sudan's military council ruler Ibn Auf steps down

Sudan's military council ruler Ibn Auf steps down

Friday's announcement of a civilian government by the head of the military council's political committee, General Omar Zain al-Abideen, appeared aimed at reassuring angry demonstrators who took to the streets to warn against imposing army rule after Bashir's overthrow.

State TV and radio interrupted programming and Mr Ibn Auf announced "the toppling of the regime". "The leadership of the armed forces had to contact us to hear our point of view about the future of Sudan but they took their decision alone and therefore we reject on behalf of the people and we will remain on the streets", he said.

Sudan's Defence Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf is sworn in as a head of Military Transitional Council in Sudan in this still image taken from video on April 11, 2019.

In the wake of the coup, worldwide human rights groups urged Sudanese military authorities to hand over the 75-year-old Bashir to the global Criminal Court, where he faces charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide for his deadly campaign against insurgents in the country's Darfur region.

His downfall followed months of unrest which began in December over the rising cost of living.

Leading protest group, the Sudanese Professionals' Association, issued a statement rejecting the military's declaration, claiming its intervention "reproduced the same faces and institutions that our courageous people have revolted against".

He also said a three-month state of emergency was being put in place. Organizers said they would keep up the campaign and that they disagree with the army's plans to rule the country for the next two years.

As protesters continued a sit-in outside the army headquarters in the capital Khartoum, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a paramilitary organisation that had always been considered loyal to Bashir and the government, "apologised" in a statement for having participated in the military council at the beginning.

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Earlier Thursday, the Sudanese army announced the "removal" of al-Bashir and the imposition of a two-year "transitional phase". There were also reports that several senior figures close to Bashir in the ruling National Congress party had been detained.

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Ibnouf said a transitional military council would replace the president for two years, adding that the country's borders and airspace were shut until further notice.

"We believe that the victims of Darfur deserve justice and that accountability is essential for achieving a stable and lasting peace in Darfur", he said.

"First of all we don't know who's behind the military council", she said.

How did Thursday's coup unfold?

New demonstrations broke out Thursday afternoon in the capital, Khartoum.

He says al-Bashir is in custody but declined to provide more details.

That came after the African Union decried Bashir's military ouster, saying it was "not the appropriate response to the challenges facing Sudan and the aspirations of its people".

Bashir, 75, had faced 16 weeks of demonstrations sparked by rising food costs, high unemployment and growing repression during his three decades of autocratic rule.

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