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Sudan army chief names new governing Sovereign Council, led by himself

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Sudan's top army general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan speaks during a press conference at the General Command of the Armed Forces in Khartoum on October 26, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Sudan's army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who assumed power last month in a coup and removed the country’s transitional civilian administration, has now formed a new council to lead the Northeast African country.

Burhan would remain the head of a new governing Sovereign Council, while Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the leader of the feared and notorious paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) who is also known as Hemeti, would keep his post as deputy.

State television reported on Thursday that the new council includes army commanders, former rebel leaders and new civilian members. A representative for the eastern Sudan region will join the council later after more political consultations.

On October 25, Burhan dissolved the cabinet and the ruling military-civilian sovereign council. He also declared a state of emergency and put Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok under an effective house arrest, while detaining other leading members of his government.

The move drew anger and outrage across the African country and sparked international outcry, including from the UN Security Council. Protests have been underway for the second week in row.

Burhan has said the military would establish a new technocrat government, promising that elections would take place in July 2023. Until then, he claimed, the military would be the guarantor of the democratic transition and of Sudan’s stability and security.

Before the military coup, the African country was ruled by the transitional government that was installed in the aftermath of the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir in another coup two years ago. The military shared power with civilians in the transitional authority since the removal of al-Bashir in 2019.

In recent weeks, the military has been mounting a harsh crackdown on protesters, who have been taking to the streets after Sudan’s main opposition coalition called for civil disobedience and protests across the country hours after the military coup.

Groups opposed to the recent military coup in Sudan have called for “marches of millions” on November 13 and 17 to protest the putsch.

The call by the Sudanese Professionals’ Association and affiliated groups, supported by the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC), came late on Tuesday as hundreds gathered in Khartoum and other cities around the country to protest against the October 25 coup.

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