African Union gives Sudan’s military council two months to cede power

Sudanese demonstrators gather to protest demanding a civilian transition government in front of military headquarters [Anadolu Agency]

The African Union has given Sudan’s military rulers another 60 days to hand over power to a civilian authority or face suspension.

The new threat on Wednesday came after Sudan’s military leaders ignored an earlier deadline to step aside within a 15-day period set by the bloc on April 15.

The military assumed power in Sudan after toppling the country’s long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir following months of anti-government protests. It promised to hold elections within two years but protesters have rejected that and remained on the streets of the capital, Khartoum, demanding immediate civilian rule.

The council, led by General Abdul Fattah al-Burhan, has been negotiating with protest leaders on the formation of a new transitional government. But the two sides are divided over the role of the military, which is dominated by al-Bashir appointees.

The AU’s Peace and Security Council said it noted the military’s failure to transfer power to a civilian authority “with deep regret”, but said it was giving the council “an additional period of up to 60 days” to do so.

The bloc also reiterated “its conviction that a military-led transition in the Sudan will be totally unacceptable and contrary to the will and legitimate aspirations, to democratic institutions and processes, as well as respect for human rights and freedoms of the Sudanese people”.

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