Sudan’s interim leader, rejected by protesters, resigns

Sudan on map
Sudan on map

Awad Ibn Auf, the head of Sudan’s supreme military council, on Friday stepped down from office.

Mr Ibn Auf resigned in a nationwide broadcast late Friday after protesters rejected him as the head of a transitional government following the ouster of Omar Al-Bashir.

Mr Al-Bashir, who had led Sudan since 1989, was removed from office in a military coup Thursday morning.

Mr Ibn Auf, a general who served as Mr Al-Bashir’s defence minister, immediately named Abdel Fattah Burhan, a lieutenant-general, as the new head of the council.

“This is for the benefit of our nation, without having to look at special interests, big or small, that may impede its progress,” Mr Ibn Auf said. “I would like to recommend that you work together and reach a solution very speedily.”

He said he was stepping down to “preserve unity” of the armed forces, expressing confidence that Mr Burhan “will steer the ship to safe shores.”

Protesters continued to demand a civilian-led transition, one which they said must not include actors of Mr Al-Bashir’s 30-year authoritarian regime.

The broadcast was received with wide jubilation by protesters, who congratulated themselves for being able to end Mr Al-Bashir’s government and the military council that succeeded it within 48 hours.

Mr Burhan was one of the generals who met with protesters that camped outside the military headquarters as part of the week-long sit-ins across Sudan last week. He might make his initial announcement to the nation on Saturday, local media reported.

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