UK FM says he's against military rule in Sudan


Sudan's military council chief General Awad Ibn Ouf announced Friday he was stepping down, just a day after he was sworn in following the ouster of veteran president Omar al-Bashir.

The ouster of Sudan's long-serving President Omar Hassan al-Bashir from power on Thursday could lead to confusion and more chaos if not cautiously handled.

Tens of thousands of protestors had kept up a vigil at the army headquarters in the Sudanese capital Friday angrily demanding that the military make way for a civilian government.

Ibn Auf also announced in a televised statement the imposition of a one-month curfew - to take effect Thursday evening - along with a three-month nationwide state of emergency.

Thursday climbed on top of land-cruisers and armoured vehicles that had been posted to protect them from intervention by other branches of the security forces.

"This is a very critical, volatile moment for Sudan and there is deep uncertainty and unease about the future", Bachelet said, adding that the authorities must refrain from using force against peaceful protesters.

It follows an announcement the Sudanese army would not extradite deposed President al-Bashir but would instead put him on trial at home. However, at the heart of the protests in both countries is the deep sense of disenchantment felt by people in Algeria and Sudan.

The United States first imposed sanctions on Sudan in 1997, including a trade embargo and blocking the government's assets, for human rights violations and terrorism concerns.

"We reject the formation of the military council".

The council also announced that it would not extradite Bashir to face accusations of genocide at the global war crimes court.

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The ousted president had come to power in a coup in 1989 and ruled Sudan for three decades with an iron fist.

Col. Gen. Omar Zein Abedeen told a press conference the military wanted to "guide the country forward" and act as a "tool for change".

"Today's events should also serve as a wake-up call to leaders around the world who think they can get away with denying people their basic rights". But he declined to provide more details or say where the president of 30 years is being held.

The council also announced that it would not extradite Bashir to face allegations of genocide at the worldwide war crimes court.

He pledged the military would stay only as long as it's needed.

Zain al-Abideen said the military council itself had no solutions to Sudan's crisis and these would come from the protesters.

But his apology fell on deaf ears among the protesters, who had repeatedly defied bullets and tear gas to keep up their sit-in before the army stepped in.

The mood in the crowd appeared festive, with protesters playing music and chanting, "Down again" - a reference Defense Minister Awad Mohammed Ibn Ouf.

"I hereby announce my resignation as head of the Transitional Military Council", Ibn Ouf said in an address to the nation, announcing he had chosen General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan Abdulrahman to replace him.