The head of Sudan’s provisional military political council has said that the army has “no ambition to hold the reins of power”, and stressed that “we are ready to step down in as early as a month if a government is formed”.
Addressing a news conference in the capital, Khartoum, Omar Zein Abideen promised on Friday that the new transitional government will be run by civilians.
Organisers of the months-long demonstrations that triggered the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir on Thursday urged pro-democracy supporters to protest against a military takeover.
The appeal by the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) came as tens of thousands of protesters defied a nighttime curfew announced earlier in the day by General Awad Ibn Auf, who was sworn in as the head of a military council that replaced Bashir.
In a Twitter post, the SPA called on protesters to “gather now” and continue a days-long sit-in outside the army headquarters in the capital, Khartoum.
“Stay put and guard your revolution,” it added. “To comply with the curfew is to recognise the clone rescue government.”
On Bashir’s removal, Abideen said that the military acted to meet the demands of the people. He called for “civilised and peaceful dialogue” to address the economic and political issues facing the country.
“The committee plans to begin dialogue with political groups later. We are the protectors of the demands of the people and that is by consensus from the political entities,” Abideen said.
His remarks came after Sudan’s opposition groups spearheading the months-long protests had called for people to rally after Friday prayers.
Protests broke out in December over steep hike in bread prices and and a deteriorating economic situation in the country.
Since Saturday, thousands of protesters had camped in front of the defence ministry building to demand Bashir’s ouster.
At least 35 people have been killed in clashes with security forces, which have repeatedly tried to disperse the sit-in by force, the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors said.
It said that at least 13 people were killed when security forces intervened in Thursday’s protests.