In Sudan, a new Transitional Council without the pro-civil bloc

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane, author of a coup in Sudan at the end of October, on Thursday appointed a new Sovereignty Council, from which representatives of the bloc demanding a transfer of power to civilians were excluded.

After the fall in 2019 of dictator Omar al-Bashir, a Sovereignty Council, made up of civilians and soldiers, was set up to oversee the transition to democracy under the chairmanship of General Burhane. On October 25, the latter dissolved all institutions, declared a state of emergency and arrested most of the country’s civilian leaders.

For days, the military had been announcing the training “imminentAuthorities to lead the country towards free elections, claiming only to have had to dismiss civilian leaders who did not agree with them on the path to be taken towards democracy. The government, of which several ministers are still detained and Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok under house arrest, has so far not been replaced and its members continue to claim to be the only authorities “legitimate” from the country.

With his decree on Thursday evening, General Burhane retains the presidency of the Sovereignty Council, state television reported. General Mohamed Hamdan Daglo says “Hemedti», At the head of the very powerful Rapid Support Forces, paramilitaries accused of abuses in the Darfur region (west) or during the repression of the anti-Bashir revolt, remains his number two.

The new Sovereignty Council, like the old one, has 14 members. However, only 13 names were announced by the Sudan TV presenter. The fourteenth member is to represent the east of the country, where protesters have blocked Sudan’s commercial lung, Port Sudan, and its docks for a month and a half, and has clearly not yet been accepted by all.

Normalization, Sufism and Apolitism

Of the 13 names announced, only four are new. In place of the four representatives of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FLC), the union of civil forces born out of the anti-Bashir revolt, some of whom were arrested on the day of the coup, four non-political figures supporters were chosen.

Among them is Abu al-Qassem Bortoum, a businessman who had pleaded for normalization with Israel – a flagship project of the military in power since 2019 -, posed as a condition by Washington to remove Sudan from its blacklist of states. supporting the “terrorism“. Abu al-Qassem Bortoum, 55, was a deputy under Omar al-Bashir and today manages agricultural and transport companies.

Another new member of the board: Salma al-Mubarak, from a large Sufi family in Sudan. Without a political past, she is the second woman on the Council with Raja Nicola, the representative of the Coptic Christian minority who retains her post. The nine members who remain on the Sovereignty Council are representatives of the army or armed rebel groups who signed peace with Khartoum at the end of 2020 after years of deadly conflicts in the four corners of the country.

Tuesday, the Troika (Great Britain, United States and Norway) to maneuver on the Sudanese file for years, had called on General Burhane not to take “unilateral decision», Urging him to reinstate Abdallah Hamdok in his functions. Again on Thursday, European ambassadors met deposed Foreign Minister Mariam al-Sadeq al-Mahdi, once again asking “the return to constitutional order” and “immediate release of detainees», Ministers, demonstrators, activists and even passers-by, arrested in recent weeks.

Despite everything, these mass arrests did not weaken the determination of the supporters of a transfer of power to the civilian population. They call for a new “manifestation of the million” Saturday.

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