Huge crowds gather in Sudan to demand civilian rule

Huge crowds formed outside Sudan’s defence ministry on Thursday, joining a sit-in protest to demand that the country’s transitional military council hand power to civilians.

Hundreds of thousands packed the streets by early evening – the largest crowds to gather in the centre of the capital since last week, when former President Omar al-Bashir was ousted and the military council took over.

Protesters chanted “Freedom and revolution are the choice of the people” and “Civilian rule, civilian rule”, and waved national flags.

Giant screens showed a film documenting apparent abuses by the security services.

“We will remain in the street until power is handed to civilian authority,” said 24-year-old protester Samia Abdallah. “We will bring down military rule.”

The council has said it is ready to meet some of the protesters’ demands, including fighting corruption, but has indicated that it would not hand over power to protest leaders.

It has said that a transitional period of up to two years will be followed by elections and that it is ready to work with anti-Bashir activists and opposition groups to form an interim civilian government.

“We are completely committed to handing over power within a maximum two years,” one of the members of the council, Lieutenant General Salah Abdelkhalek, told state TV on Thursday.

“Perhaps the most difficult issue facing the military council now through its political committee is getting agreement from the political spectrum and the community forces on the naming of a prime minister,” Abdelkhalek said.”The ball is in their court.” =Huge crowds formed outside Sudan’s defence ministry on Thursday, joining a sit-in protest to demand that the country’s transitional military council hand power to civilians.

Hundreds of thousands packed the streets by early evening – the largest crowds to gather in the centre of the capital since last week, when former President Omar al-Bashir was ousted and the military council took over.

Protesters chanted “Freedom and revolution are the choice of the people” and “Civilian rule, civilian rule”, and waved national flags.

Giant screens showed a film documenting apparent abuses by the security services.

“We will remain in the street until power is handed to civilian authority,” said 24-year-old protester Samia Abdallah. “We will bring down military rule.”

The council has said it is ready to meet some of the protesters’ demands, including fighting corruption, but has indicated that it would not hand over power to protest leaders.

It has said that a transitional period of up to two years will be followed by elections and that it is ready to work with anti-Bashir activists and opposition groups to form an interim civilian government.

“We are completely committed to handing over power within a maximum two years,” one of the members of the council, Lieutenant General Salah Abdelkhalek, told state TV on Thursday.

“Perhaps the most difficult issue facing the military council now through its political committee is getting agreement from the political spectrum and the community forces on the naming of a prime minister,” Abdelkhalek said.”The ball is in their court.”

Source: National News Agency