Sudan government calls on international community to support military council for 'democratic transition'

Sudan government calls on international community to support military council for 'democratic transition'
Sudan's foreign ministry on Sunday urged the international community to back the country's new military council, which took power on Thursday after toppling former president Omar al-Bashir.
3 min read
14 April, 2019
Protesters continue to call for an end to military rule [Anadolu]

Sudan's foreign ministry on Sunday urged the international community to support the country's new military rulers in order to ease a "democratic transition".

The military seized power from former president Omar al-Bashir in a coup on Thursday following months of mass protests across the country.

"The ministry of foreign affairs is looking forward to the international community to understand the situation and to support the transitional military council... in order to achieve the Sudanese goal of democratic transition," the ministry said in a statement.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have already expressed support for Sudan's new military leaders.

"The steps taken by the army on Thursday, April 11, take the side of the people for the sake of freedom, peace and justice," the ministry said, echoing one of the protesters' slogans.

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, chief of the military council since Friday when his predecessor General Awad Ibn Auf stepped down, is "committed to having a complete civilian government," the military said.

Burhan is also committed to fostering an independent judiciary and environment in which political parties and civil societies can build themselves up in preparation for a "peaceful transition of power", the ministry said.

Sudan's military transitional council has said the transitional process will last two years.

Many are worried that the power grab is simply a move by the military to keep itself and key regime figures in power.

Thousands of protesters have been gathered outside the Army General Command for more than a week.

After initially calling for the military to support them in their demand for Bashir to step down, protesters have made clear that they will not leave the sit-in until their full demands have been met, which include the establishment of a civilian government and an end to martial rule.

A delegation of leading protest organisers on Saturday met with members of the military council to put forward their demands.

While the delegation has faced some criticism from protesters for a perceived softening of their demands, negotiations between the delegation and the military council are set to continue.

"The UAE reaffirms its support for the steps taken by Sudan's transitional military council to protect people and property, wishing these steps would ensure security and stability for the sisterly country," the UAE's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said on Saturday according to state news agency WAM.

In a similar statement published by state news agency SPA, Saudi Arabia gave its support to the military council: "The Kingdom declares its support for the steps announced by the Council in preserving the lives and property, and stands by the Sudanese people, and hopes that this will achieve security and stability for brotherly Sudan."

Both nations have said they will send aid packages to Sudan in the wake of Bashir's toppling.

Burhan's appointment is rumoured to have pleased both the Saudis and Emiratis.

As former commander of the army's ground forces and inspector general of the army, Burhan oversaw the deployment of Sudanese troops to Yemen as part of the Saudi-led coalition.

The countries' regional rival Qatar has not yet addressed the military council, but has called for "democratic transition" in the country.

Qatar called on "all actors in Sudan to uphold the supreme national interest, to realize the aspirations of the brotherly Sudanese people and their just demands for freedom and justice, to avoid bloodshed of their sons and to adopt peaceful means and constructive dialogue as a way of managing the political process", in a statement published on Thursday by state news agency QNA.