Sudan coup: Military reaches out to protesters

Sudan coup: Military reaches out to protesters

Thousands defied a warning from the military council to respect the night-time curfew imposed from 2000 GMT (10 pm) to 0200 GMT (4 am), to maintain their vigil outside army headquarters in Khartoum for a sixth straight night.

The military council that ousted Omar al-Bashir, Sudan's president for the past 30 years, and then took control itself is facing a potential crisis only a day after it was formed after the country's influential paramilitary force abandoned it on Friday.

Zein Abedeen, who is on the military transitional council which took over after overthrowing al-Bashir on Thursday, also insisted the army has no ambition to hold the reins of power for long.

He said a military council would be drawn up to run the country's affairs during the post-Bashir interim phase.

Protest leaders dismissed the transitional military council formed by top brass after they toppled Bashir on Thursday, as the "same old faces" from the old regime which had ruled the country with an iron fist for three decades.

Sudan's last elected prime minister, opposition Umma party leader, Sadiq al-Mahdi, who was overthrown by Bashir in a military coup in 1989, was expected to address supporters after prayers at one of Omdurman's most revered mosques.

The U.S. State Department has called on the Sudanese military to "follow the will of the people" and "commit to the speedy handover to civilian rule".

Amnesty International has advised the Sudanese Government to immediately hand over former President Omar al-Bashir, to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to stand trial for his crimes against humanity.

Footage shared on social media on Friday claimed to show NISS forces firing on protesters in North Kordofan, in central Sudan.

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.

Rights group Amnesty says the coup in Sudan is a wake up call to leaders who deny people their basic rights.

"The United States position is the Sudanese people should be allowed to do so sooner than two years from now", he said.

The minister also announcedthe suspension of the Constitution, the dissolution of the National Assembly and a three-month state of emergency for three months. 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.

The BBC reported today that demonstrators in Khartoum are saying the military council, which has taken power, is part of the same regime as Omar. Mohammed Hamadati, the commander, said talks are needed so Sudan would "avoid slipping into chaos".

The military council would not hand the president over for trial overseas, Abideen said.

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