Sudan should free protesters, investigate use of force

Sudan should free protesters, investigate use of force

Sudan's transitional military council said on Friday that former President Omar al-Bashir won't be handed to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for trial.

Political parties and movements behind the protests said they were meeting Saturday with the military to discuss the transition, saying they've formed a 10-member delegation to introduce the people's demands to the military council.

Fast forward to February 23 of this year, and Mr Ibn Auf was appointed Vice President by Mr Al Bashir, who was desperately searching for a figure to help him survive weeks of mass protests.

But the African Union whose opposition to recent coups has cornered the military to hasty retreats appeared less decisive saying Bashir's military ouster, was "not the appropriate response to the challenges facing Sudan and the aspirations of its people".

Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan announced the "restructuring of state institutions", in a televised address.

What Sudan needs at this stage is a transition to democratic rule led by a civilian transitional government that will be tasked with conducting reforms and paving the way to free and fair elections.

Protest organisers had earlier on Saturday urged people to keep marching to demand a civilian government after the defense minister and the intelligence chief stepped down.

State television later broadcast footage of him taking the oath to become head of the council, alongside his new deputy, army chief of staff Lieutenant General Kamal Abdelmarouf.

The Trump administration has said it will withdraw or deny visas of any ICC judges or prosecutors if the court investigated possible war crimes against USA forces in Afghanistan.

Zein Abedeen said Sudanese courts would hold Bashir "accountable", but did not specify what charges he could face.

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"The victims of Sudan have waited far too long for acknowledgment, justice, and reparation for the crimes they have suffered".

Ibn Auf was sworn in as de facto ruler late Thursday after leading the ouster of al-Bashir following months of protests.

The head of the opposition Sudanese Congress Party (SCoP) Omar Al Degair said his organisation would not allow the "theft of the revolution" after expressing disappointment in the subsequent events.

Mr Bashir is the subject of an worldwide arrest warrant issued by the global Criminal Court (ICC), over alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sudan's western Darfur region. He was credited with building NISS into one of the most important pillars of Bashir's regime before his dismissal in 2009.

They fear the military, which is dominated by al-Bashir loyalists, will rule indefinitely or hand power to one of its own.

"We do not reject a military council in principle, but we reject these people because they are from Bashir's regime", said Abdelhamid Ahmed, a 24-year-old doctor.

"If this does not happen we will continue with our sit-in in front of the army headquarters and other towns", it said in a statement.

The military also established a military council to run the country for a transitional period of two years.

The police said Friday that 16 people had been killed in live fire in Khartoum alone over the previous two days as NISS agents led a desperate last stand for Bashir before the army intervened.

"Many young girls, waving Sudanese flags, drove towards the protest site honking their cars and ululating", a witness said.