Sudan’s army chief appoints himself as head of new governing council after coup
Sudan's army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan has now formed a new council to rule the country after a coup last month.
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.
Some senior civilians have been detained since the October coup and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has been under house arrest.
Mediation aimed at securing the release of detainees and a return to power-sharing has stalled since the coup as the military has moved to consolidate control.
Groups opposed to the recent military coup in Sudan have called for “marches of millions” on November 13 and 17 to protest the putsch.