A civilian government in Sudan will take over power within two years, the new leader of the transitional military council said in wake of the president’s ouster this week.
Lt. Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, the former army inspector general, made the announcement during his first televised address after taking over the council Friday.
He was appointed by Defense Minister Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf, who later resigned Friday, including as council leader, after one day in power. On Saturday, intelligence chief Salah Abdallah Mohamed Saleh also resigned.
Burhan also ordered the release of all prisoners under emergency laws ordered by President Omar al-Bashir, who was ousted Thursday after 30 years in power.
Also Friday, top general, Omar Zein Abedeen said that the military won’t extradite al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges, crimes against humanity and genocide.
“We will not hand him over,” Abedeen said. “If you politicians want to hand him, you can do. If anybody wants to hand him over, it should not be [the military]. We have laws and courts. We can put him on trial to face justice. Sudan has laws and institutions.”
Al-Bashir’s National Congress Party said the overthrow of al-Bashir was a “power grab” in “violation of constitutional law.” The party called on the council Saturday to release the former president.
Protesters have been involved in a seven-day sit-in outside military headquarters in the capital, Khartoum, to demand sweeping changes.
Members of the Sudanese Professionals Association planned to protest until a civilian transitional council is formed instead of indefinite military rule.
The Sudan Doctor’s Committee, an affiliate of the group, said Saturday 13 people were fatally shot Thursday, and a soldier and two others were killed Friday.
Al-Burhan accepted the resignation of Saleh, commonly known as Salah Gosh.
Saleh led the National Intelligence and Security Service, and oversaw the agency’s brutal crackdown on protesters who participated in four months of sometimes deadly demonstrations that led to the military’s ouster of al-Bashir.
“This fools nobody,” Reeves told VOA about the leadership changes. “[It] addresses none of the issues, and certainly does nothing to bring about the kind of changes that will rescue the Sudanese economy from its present collapse — and it is collapsing very rapidly.”
On Thursday, the U.S. State Department ordered the departure of all non-emergency U.S. government personnel from Sudan. U.S. citizens also were warned not to travel to Sudan.
“There is a national state of emergency in effect across Sudan, which gives security forces greater arrest and incarceration powers,” the State Department said in a travel advisory. “Security forces have enhanced authority to detain and arrest anybody they deem to be undermining public order, including protestors or those suspected of supporting the protests. Detentions, including of foreigners, have been reported across the country. Curfews and checkpoints on roads may be imposed with little or no warning.”
The State Department noted demonstrations have occurred frequently throughout Sudan since December 19.
The U.S. Embassy requires U.S. government personnel in Sudan to use armored vehicles for official travel.