KHARTOUM (Dispatches) -- Several thousand Sudanese protesters continued a sit-in outside the Defense Ministry on Sunday as they pressured the military to accelerate a transition towards civilian rule.
The head of the military council that replaced former President Omar al-Bashir, who was ousted on Thursday after three decades in power, has said a civilian government will be formed after consultations with the opposition.
The main organizer of protests that led to Bashir’s ouster, the Sudanese Professionals’ Association (SPA), has demanded that civilians be included on the transitional military council and has pressed for Bashir’s close associates to leave.
It has called for a restructuring of the powerful National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) and the dissolution of militia forces that operated under Bashir.
The sit-in, which began on April 6, was the culmination of a protest movement that began nearly four months ago, triggered by a worsening economic crisis.
On Friday, Defense Minister Awad Ibn Auf, who announced Bashir’s ouster and arrest, stepped down after just one day as head of the military council. On Saturday, state media reported that the head of the NISS, Salah Abdallah Mohamed Saleh - better known as Salah Gosh - had also resigned.
The new head of the council, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan Abdelrahman, has said the transition period will last for a maximum of two years. He has canceled an overnight curfew and ordered the release of all prisoners jailed under emergency laws put in place by Bashir.
Sudanese media and analysts say Burhan coordinated sending Sudanese troops to Yemen to participate in the Saudi war on the impoverished country.
Saudi Arabia expressed support for measures taken by the transitional military council following his ouster.
The Saudi official news agency SPA also said late Saturday that Riyadh had announced a humanitarian aid package to Sudan, including wheat, petroleum products, and medicine.
The United Arab Emirates also welcomed the new head of Sudan’s transitional military council.
A report by London-based Middle East Eye last month said the head of Israel's Mossad had met with his Sudanese counterpart in Germany as part of a secret plan by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates to oust Bashir.