Thousands camp outside Sudan's military headquarters demanding civilian rule

Omar al-Bashir placed in solitary confinement at Khartoum prison

The US state department has on Thursday urged Sudanese military to hand over power to the civilian transitional council making a way to a peaceful environment in the country, where people are protesting on streets on a daily basis demanding civilian rule.

Thousands of people are still camping out in front of the military headquarters in the capital Khartoum - demanding an immediate transition to civilian rule.

Four months after anti-regime protests started, access roads were packed yesterday with crowds flocking to the huge square outside army headquarters. "The will of the Sudanese people is clear".

"This government can then prepare for free elections in two years with participation from all parties", Dahab told AFP.

The Sudanese military is also trying to stay neutral in a feud between a bloc of Saudi-led Arab nations and Qatar.

Protesters shout slogans and make victory signs after Friday prayers in front of the Defence Ministry in Khartoum, Sudan, April 19, 2019.

Following Mr Bashir's ouster, demonstrations targeted General Awad Ibn Ouf, the first head of the military council, seen by protestors as a tool of the old regime. Ibn Ouf stepped down in less than 24 hours and was replaced by Burhan, who so far has appeased protesters by lifting a night-time curfew and vowing to "uproot" Bashir's circle.

The military has given in to several of the protesters' demands, including saying they can name a prime minister and transferring Mr Bashir to a maximum security prison.

State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said Sudan remained labeled by the USA as a state sponsor of terrorism, and emphasized that Washington's policies toward Sudan would be based on "our assessment of events on the ground and the actions of transitional authorities".

A senior United States official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Washington's short-term goal was to "get the military folks out of centre-stage" and "back to being responsible for security, nothing else".

"A delegation from the Freedom and Change Declaration Forces has since informed the leadership of the armed forces of a summary of this envisaged framework as well as the intended steps to be taken in the following days to commence the handover to a transitional civil authority", Forces of the Declaration of Freedom and Change said in the statement published on the Sudanese Professionals Association website.

But the State Department official said that none of the members of the new military council were under U.S. sanctions.



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