Sudan protest updates: December 2018 – February 1, 2019

May 2, 2019: Prosecutor officially starts probing Bashir

Sudan’s public prosecutor has ordered the interrogation of ousted President Omar al-Bashir on suspicion of money laundering and financing terrorism, a judicial source told Reuters on Thursday.

In April, the prosecutor began investigating Bashir over accusations of money laundering and possession of large sums of foreign currency without legal grounds. Large sums of money were found in suitcases in his home.

April 24, 2019: Members of military council resign

Moments after a meeting between the military and protest leaders, the military council announced that three members of the ruling body had resigned.

They were Lieutenant General Omar Zain al-Abdin, Lieutenant General Jalaluddin Al-Sheikh and Lieutenant General Al-Tayieb Babikir.

The resignations came after the Sudanese Professionals’ Association, the main protest organiser, called for a million-strong march to take place on Thursday.

One of the SPA’s demands was that the three lieutenant-generals, Abideen, Fadeel and Sheikh, be dismissed and tried over their alleged role in a crackdown that killed dozens of protesters.

April 24, 2019: Sudan military ‘reaches deal’ with protesters

Three members of Sudan’s ruling military council resigned Wednesday after it said it reached “agreement on most demands” with protest leaders who have called for a million-strong march to demand a civilian government.

The 10-member military council had invited the protest leaders for a meeting after the leaders suspended talks with the army rulers on Sunday.

“We have an agreement on most demands presented in the document of the Alliance for Freedom and Change,” Lieutenant General Shamseddine Kabbashi, spokesman of the ruling military council, told reporters after the meeting between the council and leaders of the umbrella group leading the protest movement.

He did not elaborate on the key demand of handing power to a civilian government, but said there “were no big disputes”.

One of the protest leaders who attended the meeting, Ahmed al-Rabia, said the two sides had also agreed to form a joint committee. The joint committee will be tasked with resolving disagreements between the protesters and military council.

“The Forces of the Declaration of Freedom and Change decided to respond to the invitation and listen with an open mind to what the president of the military council will propose, asserting that our desire is the peaceful transfer to a transitional civilian authority that reflects the forces of the revolution,” the SPA said in a statement.

April 23, 2019: African leaders give Sudan three months to reform

African leaders meeting in Cairo on Tuesday agreed to give Sudan’s ruling military council three months to implement democratic reforms, amid pressure for a quick handover of power to civilians.

The decision extends a 15-day deadline set by the African Union last week for Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC) to hand over power to civilians or to be suspended from the grouping. The TMC took over after President Omar al-Bashir was ousted on April 11.

Any suspension of Sudan’s AU membership could affect the TMC’s efforts to win international recognition as the country’s legitimate rulers during an interim period of up to two years, and thus delay any aid to the country that has been trying to cope with a dire economic crisis.

The TMC has been under pressure from demonstrators to hand power rapidly to civilians since the military ousted Bashir following months of protests against his 30 years in office.

Speaking at the end of a summit attended by several African heads of state, Sisi said that the meeting agreed on the need to deal with the situation in Sudan by working to “quickly restore the constitutional system through a political democratic process led and managed by the Sudanese themselves”.

Sisi, who holds the rotating African Union presidency, said that the African Union Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat had briefed the meeting on his recent talks in Khartoum.

“We agreed on the need to give more time to Sudanese authorities and Sudanese parties to implement these measures,” Sisi told the meeting.

A Sudanese and a Western diplomat head had earlier said that the TMC wanted a period of three to six months to continue its discussions with protesters and opposition groups to hammer out an agreement on how to run the transitional period.

The TMC has resisted pressure to hand power to civilians, but has said it was ready to accept a civilian government of technocrats to run the country during an interim period of up to two years that would prepare for a presidential election.

But protesters say the proposal would leave ultimate power in the hands of the military, demanding that the ruling council be staffed by civilians with military representation.

AFRICANEWS

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