sudan-crisis-protesters-gather-for-announcement-of-civilian-council

Protesters have continued to stage a sit-in in central KhartoumImage copyright
AFP

Image caption

Protesters have continued to stage a sit-in in central Khartoum

Protest leaders in Sudan are preparing to announce a civilian council they want to take power following the removal of Omar al-Bashir as president.

Thousands are gathering outside army HQ in Khartoum for the announcement, scheduled for Sunday evening.

Protest leaders have been in talks with the military after it took power.

The military on Sunday said it was committed to giving power to the people and would consider a joint military-civilian council.

What are protest leaders planning?

The campaign to remove Mr Bashir had been spearheaded by the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA).

It is behind the announcement of the council.

The SPA held talks with the military on Saturday and more are planned.

Senior SPA member Ahmed al-Rabia initially indicated this might delay the naming of the council but on Sunday he confirmed that the announcement would go ahead at the Khartoum protest site.

The protesters want the council to form a transitional government, leading to elections.

What will the military do?

On Sunday it said it would respond to the call for civilian rule within a week, and indicated it might favour a joint council.

It has so far resisted demands to transfer power to a civilian grouping.

It has, however, released political prisoners and on Saturday arrested a number of top members of Mr Bashir’s former ruling party.

While the military has promised not to remove protesters from their sit-in, it has also called on them to “let normal life resume”.

How did it all begin?

Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

Omar al-Bashir was deposed by the military after months of protests

In December 2018, the government tried to stave off economic collapse by imposing emergency austerity measures and a sharp currency devaluation.

Cuts to bread and fuel subsidies sparked demonstrations in the east over living standards, but the anger soon spread to Khartoum.

The protests quickly widened into demands for the removal of President Bashir, in charge for nearly 30 years, and his government.

The Sudanese military toppled Mr Bashir on 11 April but demonstrators have vowed to stay on the streets until there is a move to civilian rule.

Who are the protesters?

The economic problems brought Sudanese from all walks of life on to the streets but the organisation of demonstrations was taken on by the SPA, a collaboration of doctors, health workers and lawyers.

A large proportion of the protesters have been women and the demonstrators are mostly young.