AU says NO to Sudanese military gov’t, deposed leader moved to prison

Mildred Europa Taylor Apr 17, 2019 at 09:06am

April 17, 2019 at 09:06 am | News

Mildred Europa Taylor

Mildred Europa Taylor | Associate Editor

April 17, 2019 at 09:06 am | News

Sudan’s deposed president, Omar al-Bashir. Pic credit: Rappler

Sudan’s deposed president, Omar al-Bashir, has been moved to a maximum security prison in the capital Khartoum days after his removal in a coup.

Bashir is being held under tight security in solitary confinement in the Kobar prison noted for holding prisoners during his three-decade rule, the CNN reports.

Other figures under his regime are being held at the jail that has a yard notorious for executions, officials said. Since his removal by the military last week, Bashir had been detained under heavy guard in the presidential residence inside the compound that also houses the Defence Ministry, family sources said.

Years of economic struggle, dictatorship, police and military brutality and the stifling of dissent in Sudan by the Omar al-Bashir government were cut short last Thursday after four months of protest yielded results.

The protests began last December following hikes in bread and fuel prices. The demonstrations quickly spread, and inspired by the success of similar protests in Algeria, protestors began calling on al-Bashir to step down.

Bashir, who is being sought by international prosecutors for alleged war crimes in the country’s western Darfur region, had earlier refused to step down and said his opponents should seek power through the ballot box.

After his removal, the military indicated that it would prosecute Bashir, but would not extradite him.

Bashir, including two other leaders who were arrested – former Interior Minister Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein and Ahmed Haroun, the former head of the ruling party – will be charged with corruption and the death of protesters, sources told CNN.

The military has, so far, dissolved the government and said it will oversee a two-year transitional period followed by elections. This has been met with protests on the streets.

Awad Ibn Auf, who announced Bashir’s removal stepped down as head of the ruling Transitional Military Council after only a day in the post. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan currently heads the council, which has promised to hold elections within two years.

Protestors have, however, remained on the streets, saying they are against the military rule. The ruling military transitional council is also being pressured by the international community to put in place a civilian government as soon as possible.

On Tuesday, the African Union threatened to suspend Sudan unless the country’s army hands over power to civilians within 15 days. If it fails to do so, the AU said it will suspend “the participation of the Sudan in all AU’s activities until the restoration of constitutional order,” the body’s Peace and Security Council (PSC) said in a statement.

The AU said the military intervention is a “coup d’Etat, which (the PSC) strongly condemns.”

“A military-led transition would be completely contrary to the aspirations of the people of Sudan.”

The AU, in 2013, suspended Egypt and Central African Republic from all its activities following coups in both countries. The two have since had their membership restored.

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