Sudan's New Military Leader Resigns



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John Tanza contributed to this report.

The leader of the junta that ousted Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al Bashir resigned Friday, one day after announcing the military takeover. Major General Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf appointed Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan as his successor.

The military did not say why Ibn Auf is stepping down.

Large protests continued in Sudan's capital and other cities Friday, as demonstrators rejected plans for a military-led council to run the government for up to two years.

The largest group of demonstrators gathered outside army headquarters in Khartoum, where some chanted "it fell once, it will fall again," referring to the government.

Sudan's new military rulers say they will restore civilian rule in two years or less.

At a news conference Friday, General Omar Zein Abedeen also said military authorities will not extradite al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court to face charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. Abedeen said Sudan has laws to deal with people suspected of committing crimes in the country.

"We will not hand him over," al-Abideen said. "If you politicians want to hand him, you can do. If anybody wants to hand him over, it should not be (the military.) We have laws and courts. We can put him on trial to face justice. Sudan has laws and institutions."

The ouster of al-Bashir followed four months of mounting protests complaining about his autocratic rule and Sudan's growing economic woes.

Economic woes

Eric Reeves, a Sudan researcher and a senior fellow at Harvard University, told VOA widespread anger over Sudan's declining economy has accompanied dissatisfaction with single-party rule.

Sudan lost significant oil revenue in recent years, and its currency deteriorated in value. Inflation has gone as high as 70%, and the government slashed subsidies for fuel and bread.

Reeves said the change in leadership will not alter realities on the ground.

"This fools nobody," Reeves told VOA. “(It) addresses none of the issues, and certainly does nothing to bring about the kind of changes that will rescue the Sudanese economy from its present collapse — and it is collapsing very rapidly."


Meanwhile, Washington is urging Sudan's new leaders to hand over power to civilians in less than two years, and the European Union called for a "swift" transfer to civilian rule.

Salem Solomon is a multimedia digital journalist with the Voice of America’s Africa Division. She covers the latest news from across the continent, and she also reports and edits in Amharic and Tigrigna.

Salem’s multimedia and data-driven projects include How Western DRC’s Ebola Outbreak Was Contained, Unrest: Ethiopia at a Crossroads, Zimbabwe in Transition, Hunger Across Africa and How Long Have Africa's Presidents Held Office?

Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Reuters. She researches trends in analytics and digital journalism. For tips and inquiries, email: