Sudan on the Edge: Protests persist after ‘al-Bashir Ouster’
What happens with the ‘ouster’ of Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir will determine a lot of things, even how people would live or die in the coming days in Sudan.
After prolonged protest orchestrated by professional groups in the country, a group of military guys struck on Wednesday, announcing overthrow of al-Bashir. The statement announcing the removal of al-Bashir was read by his deputy, the first vice-president and defence minister, Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf.
This situation is critical because Sudanese are divided. The professional group spearheading the protests against President Omar al-Bashir has rejected the defence minister’s statement, Reuters news agency reports, quoting a source at the Sudanese Professionals Association.
The association called on people to remain at the sit-in outside the military headquarters in the capital, Khartoum, Reuters adds.
Protesters will not be satisfied with the military announcement, journalist Reem Abbas in Khartoum told the BBC.
She said that the defence minister did not mention a civilian transitional government, but rather talked about a military transitional council.
The message “did not resonate with the people,” she said. And she predicted that the protesters will stay on the streets.
The statement by Defence Minister Ibn Auf has been greeted with scepticism by several commentators on Sudan who are active on Twitter.
They argue that the statement falls short of meeting the protesters’ demands, as the military regime is merely removing its figurehead, President Bashir, while retaining control of the country
Lt-Gen Auf, 65, is a career soldier who previously served as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. During his tenure as defence minister, the Sudanese army has reportedly improved its artillery and rocket system. He previously served as the head of military intelligence.
His military, diplomatic and political experience put in him in a strong position to succeed al-Bashir or to influence the succession.
“He is among individuals sanctioned by the US over the Darfur ethnic conflict. The US has accused him of acting as liaison between the state and the government-backed Janjaweed militias. A UN fact-finding mission in 2005 put Lt-Gen Ibn Auf on the list of those responsible for the deteriorating situation in Darfur. As a result, the US has blocked his assets since May 2007”, said BBC.