Sudan Activists: 'Regime' Kills 16 After al-Bashir's Ouster - NBC Connecticut
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Sudan Activists: 'Regime' Kills 16 After al-Bashir's Ouster

Sudanese police said late Friday that the 16 were killed by "stray bullets," and that at least 20 people were wounded

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    Demonstrators gather in Sudan's capital of Khartoum, Friday, April 12, 2019. The Sudanese protest movement has rejected the military's declaration that it has no ambitions to hold the reins of power for long after ousting the president of 30 years, Omar al-Bashir.

    Sudanese activists said Saturday that 16 people, including a soldier, have been killed in the two days since the military forced President Omar al-Bashir from power amid months of anti-government protests, while the military met with an opposition delegation to discuss the transition and announced a nightly curfew had been lifted.

    The Sudan Doctors Committee, an affiliate of the Sudanese Professionals Association, which has been spearheading the protests, said 13 people were shot dead on Thursday and three others, including the soldier, were killed Friday.

    It said they died "at the hands of regime forces and its shadow militias."

    Sudanese police said late Friday that the 16 were killed by "stray bullets," and that at least 20 people were wounded at rallies and sit-ins across the country.

    The military overthrew al-Bashir on Thursday after almost four months of protests calling for an end to his nearly 30-year rule. Military officials have said he is under house arrest in the capital, Khartoum, and will be tried for unspecified crimes by Sudanese courts.

    Al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of genocide linked to the war in Sudan's Darfur region in the 2000s.

    The protesters have said they will remain in the streets until a civilian transitional council is formed. They fear the military, which is dominated by al-Bashir loyalists, will rule indefinitely or hand power to one of its own.

    Political parties and movements behind the protests said they were meeting Saturday with the military to discuss the transition, saying they've formed a 10-member delegation to introduce "the people's demands" to the military council. They reiterated their rejection of military rule.

    Ali al-Sanhouri, the secretary general of the Arab Socialist Baath Party in Sudan, told a news conference in Khartoum that they are calling for the creation of a "civilian sovereignty council, cabinet and a national legislative association" to rule the county during the transition.

    Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, who was sworn in Friday as head of a transitional council formed by the military, said he was lifting the curfew imposed two days earlier, which was to last for a month from 10 p.m.-4 a.m.

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    In remarks broadcast on state TV, he said the military council will rule the country for up to two years until elections and declared the immediate release of all those detained and tried during the current wave of unrest, which began late last year.

    Al-Bashir imposed a state of emergency in February, banning unauthorized public gatherings and granting sweeping powers to the police in efforts to quash the unrest. Hundreds of people were tried before emergency courts.

    Burhan, who previously served as the general inspector of the armed forces, had met with the protesters in the streets after al-Bashir's ouster and listened to their demands.

    He replaces Gen. Awad ibn Ouf, the defense minister who had announced al-Bashir's ouster. Ibn Ouf stepped down as transitional leader amid a public outcry, with the protesters saying he was too close to the ousted leader.

    Ibn Ouf was head of military intelligence during the brutal campaign to suppress the Darfur insurgency. The United States has imposed sanctions on him since 2007, saying he armed and directed pro-government militias known as the Janjaweed, accused of widespread atrocities during the conflict.

    On Saturday, state-run media reported that Lt. Gen. Salah Abdallah Gosh, the head of the National Intelligence and Security Services, resigned the day before. It did not provide further details.

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    Once a member of the president's inner circle, Gosh was sacked as an adviser in April 2011 for criticizing the government. He was arrested the following year on suspicion of involvement in a coup attempt, but was later pardoned by al-Bashir, who appointed him intelligence chief in February 2018.

    Protests erupted in December against the rising cost of food and fuel but soon escalated into an Arab Spring-inspired uprising against al-Bashir, who seized power in a 1989 Islamist-backed military coup.

    Earlier this month, tens of thousands of protesters joined a sit-in outside the military headquarters in Khartoum, vowing to remain there until their demands were met.

    "We will never leave the place. We will shout together. We will shout to our freedom, to our liberty," protester Rami Mustafa said Saturday, speaking in English.

    Security forces loyal to al-Bashir responded to the protests with a violent crackdown, killing dozens of protesters. They attacked the sit-in on several occasions, up until al-Bashir's resignation, and clashed with soldiers who intervened to protect the protesters.

    The Sudan Doctors Committee says at least 38 people, including at least six soldiers, have been killed since the sit-in began on April 6.

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