Ibn Auf steps down as leader of 'transition' in Sudan

Moussa Faki

Sudan's Defence Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf is sworn in as a head of Military Transitional Council in Sudan in this still image taken from video on April 11, 2019.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt says two years of potential military rule in Sudan "is not the answer" for "real change" in the country.

Tens of thousands of Sudanese protesters have been rallying in front of the military headquarters in Khartoum, against the military takeover of power after ousting longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir on Thursday.

However, demonstrators fear the coup leaders are too close to deposed President Omar al-Bashir.

Among Mr Ibnauf's opening statements was that Bashir had been arrested and was in a safe place in Khartoum.

The move follows calls by Amnesty International for Sudan to handover Al-Bashir to ICC.

State TV and radio interrupted programming and Mr Ibn Auf announced "the toppling of the regime".

On Bashir's status, it is now clear that he is under arrest but the military heirachy has dismissed categorically any move to extradite him to face global criminal charges at The Hague.

I, the head of the military council, announce I am giving up the post, ' adding he took the decision to preserve the unity of the armed forces. Instead he might go on trial in Sudan.

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Announcing Bashir's ouster on Thursday and the creation of the military council, Ibn Auf also announced a state of emergency, a nationwide ceasefire and the suspension of the constitution, as well as a nighttime curfew. On Thursday, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch urged the Sudanese military to hand over the ousted leader. That has raised concerned it could disperse the giant protest at the gates of its headquarters by force, sparking new violence.

The European Union urged the army to carry out a "swift" handover to civilian rule while United Nations chief UN chief Antonio Guterres called for a transition that would meet the "democratic aspirations" of the Sudanese people.

Protesters have otherwise largely heeded the calls of organisers to refrain from attacking government official or buildings as they press their campaign for sweeping reform.

The army has insisted that it is not seeking power and Sudan's future would be decided by the protesters.

"If within a month, Sudan became able to run itself without chaos, we are ready to leave even after a month". He said the military commanders were "the sons of Sewar al-Dahab", referring to army chief Abdel-Rahim Sewar al-Dahab, who handed power to a civilian government after a coup in the 1980s.

Thursday's announcement meant "we have not achieved anything", said another protester who gave his name only as Adel.

They chanted "They removed a thief and brought a thief!" and "Revolution!"

The Sudanese Professional Association (SPA), a leading group in the protest campaign that began late past year against Bashir, called ibn Auf and Mahi's resignation a "victory for the will of the masses", but it urged protesters to remain in the streets.

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