World News

Sudanese protesters say military attempted to break up sit

Sudanese protesters say military attempted to break up sit

The sit-in at the army headquarters in the capital, Khartoum, was the last straw that forced the military to oust President Omar al-Bashir last week.

Troops had gathered on three sides of the sit-in, but protesters joined hands and formed rings around the sit-in area to prevent them.

Outside the Defense Ministry on Monday, the protesters, numbering about 5,000 in the morning with more arriving, chanted "Freedom, freedom" and "Revolution, revolution", and appealed to the army to protect them.

The Sudanese Professionals Association, which has led calls for a civilian government, has urged more demonstrations until its demands are met.

"We call on our people to come immediately to the sit-in area to protect our revolution", the SPA said in a statement, without saying who was responsible.

The African Union on Monday threatened to suspend Sudan following last week's coup that saw Omar al-Bashir ousted by the military after almost three decades in power.

The protesters have insisted civilian representatives must join the military council. "We want to set up a civilian state based on freedom, justice and democracy", one council member, Lt Gen Yasser al-Ata, told members of several political parties.

A 10-member delegation representing the protesters delivered their demands during talks with the council late on Saturday, according to a statement by the Alliance for Freedom and Change umbrella group spearheading the rallies. It said a civilian authority should hold elections "as quickly as possible".

More news: Khloe Kardashian is anxious for True's birthday

Britain's ambassador to Sudan, Irfan Siddiq, said he had met the deputy head of the transitional military council, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, and had "asked for clarity on whereabouts of former President Bashir and other senior former regime figures". The military high command has offered the protest leaders the opportunity to name a prime minister, Al Jazeera reported on Sunday.

The body, which has 55 member states, added that "a military-led transition would be completely contrary to the aspirations of the people of Sudan".

Himeidti is a field commander for the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) counter-insurgency unit, which rights groups have accused of abuses in the war-torn Darfur region.

He also pledged that individuals implicated in killing protesters would face justice and that protesters detained under a state of emergency imposed by Bashir during his final weeks in power would be freed.

"This must be done credibly and swiftly, with protest leaders, political opposition, civil society organizations, and all relevant elements of society, including women". In a televised address to the nation, Sudan's then-Defence Minister, Lieutenant General Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf, announced that al-Bashir - who had seized power himself in a 1989 coup - had been arrested and taken to a "safe" location.

Tens of thousands of people have massed non-stop outside the army headquarters since April 6, initially to urge the military to back their demand that Bashir be removed.

Among the demands voiced during the press conference was the dismantling of Bashir's National Congress Party, the sacking of judiciary chiefs, dismissal of the general prosecutor and removal of the ruling military council.